CHAUTAUQUA, New York ---- Chris McMorrow (Weymouth) fired a school record three-over 75 during the opening round of the 2018 NJCAA National Golf Tournament at Chautauqua Country Club hosted by Jamestown Community College on Tuesday.
McMorrow's 75 (+3) breaks the school record for an individual round in program history, along with being the lowest score ever by a Massasoit golfer at the NJCAA Nationals. In addition, McMorrow's opening round marked the lowest by a Region 21 student-athlete at Nationals since CCRI's Steve Letterle rolled in a 73 during the first round back in 2014.
The Weymouth native currently sits tied for third out of 88 student-athletes as his score also marked the lowest of any round in Region 21 this season.
The Warriors, which started on the back-nine, saw McMorrow birdie his first hole of the day, just missing an eagle putt on the 10th. He finished with an 38 on the back nine and 37 on the front.
"My driver was really working today," McMorrow said. "I hit almost every fairway, which really helped. The greens were fast and had late-subtle breaks. Coach Mike helped me out a lot reading putts. I'm just really excited to get back out there tomorrow."
Joining McMorrow's record-breaking day, was strong play by Shawn McIsaac (Avon), Jack DeCoste (Sandwich) and Chris Flipp (Weymouth), who all finished in the 80s. McIsaac rolled in an 81, followed by an 85 from DeCoste and 86 from Flipp to finish with a team score of 327 on the day.
The 327 team score marked the lowest by a Region 21 team at Nationals in the last five seasons. Despite the stellar team score, McMorrow thinks the Warriors can improve on Wednesday.
"We can score even better. We are all ready to get back out and play again," McMorrow said.
After the first day, the Warriors trail reigning NJCAA National Champions, Georgia Military (318) by nine strokes.
"Definitely an eye opening day," head coach Mike Croatti said. "Coming out here it was more let's try and set some small personal goals and small team goals to build off. I honestly think with a little improvement from the rest of the guys that we could be in contention."
Croatti, who traveled back-and-forth to watch his four players marveled at the team's perseverance throughout the day.
"They weathered the storm," Croatti said. "I wasn't seeing a lot of great shots, but they weathered the storm and they were right there in the mid to low 80s besides an incredible day by McMorrow. With some luck (McMorrow) could have shot 71 today. As a group, they have been ridiculously consistent throughout the year. The whole team has a pretty good short game and that's what's going to win here. Whoever putts the best will win this tournament."