SAFEWAY CLASSIC AMATEUR: Morrison Finishes 2 Shots Out in LPGA Qualifying Event
AURORA, Ore. – With an even-par 71 here at the Langdon Farms Golf Course on Friday, Aug. 3, George Fox University All-American Kelsey Morrison finished two strokes off the pace and tied for fifth in the Safeway Classic Amateur Open, a qualifying event for the LPGA’s Safeway Classic on Aug. 17-19 at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.
Morrison, a native of Yucca Valley, Calif., earned NCAA Division III All-America First Team honors as a junior this past fall while leading the Bruins to a seventh-place finish in the NCAA National Tournament. Her outstanding summer of play continued this past week after she reached the semifinals of the Oregon Amateur Women’s Golf Championship in June and won the Gross Division of the Oregon Public Links Championship in July.
Morrison tied with Erynne Lee of UCLA, who qualified for last year’s Safeway Classic, and Kendall Prince of Ohio State University, the 2011-12 Freshman of the Year in the Big Ten Conference, with even-par 71’s on the 6,200-yard course. Lee is currently the No. 6-ranked collegiate amateur in the United States, and teamed with this year’s tournament champion, Lee Lopez, to help UCLA win the women’s golf NCAA Division I national title two years ago. Fourth place went to Megan Haase, who shot a one-under-par 70.
There was a three-way tie for first at 69, with a playoff determining the winner. Aram Choi, who will play for Portland State University this year, was the first golfer eliminated on the first playoff hole. Lopez then defeated Seshia-Lei Telles of Oregon State University to capture the title and earn a berth in the 144-player field for the Safeway Classic.
"It was a very exciting day with lots of TV cameras, too,” said George Fox head coach MaryJo McCloskey. “Kelsey doubled the first hole, but made four birdies to put herself in a tie for the lead on the back side at 2-under. Unfortunately, she bogeyed 15 but stayed at 1-under going into 18. On 18, she went for a 12-foot downhill putt to tie for the lead - that’s how close she was to being in the playoff!”
Morrison’s George Fox teammate, Abby Mann, who will also be a senior this year, just missed eligibility for the Safeway Amateur due to handicap restrictions, but was called in to play at the last minute as a “marker” and responded with a 79. Admitted McCloskey, “It was a great round for Abby for not having much time to prepare and warm up.”
The 2012-13 intercollegiate season for the Bruins, who have won or shared each of the last three Northwest Conference championships, gets under way on Sept. 16-17 in the O’Brien National Invitational at the University of Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course. The O’Brien event usually features a dozen or so of the top Division III teams from the previous year’s national tournament.