ANDERSON — Morgan Nadaline's junior golf career came to an end Friday when Rachel Johnson sank a birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole to win the Indiana Section Junior PGA Championship at Honeywell Golf Course in Wabash.
Nadaline is very familiar with Johnson, an Anderson resident who competes for Yorktown High School and a veteran of several Madison County Junior Golf Tour events.
"It makes it harder when it's somebody you grew up playing with," Nadaline said of the loss.
The former Anderson High School star is a three-time Indiana Junior Golf Player of the Year and has won 19 junior tournaments across the state since 2007.
She shot a 144 total in the two-day event to finish in a tie with Johnson after 36 holes. Then came the fateful playoff and a sudden finish to a storied junior career.
"I feel kind of sad because of the way it ended," Nadaline said.
But she has plenty to look forward to. The three-time IHSAA state finalist will compete at Ball State beginning on Aug. 18.
She chose the Cardinals because she liked the coaching staff, the facilities and the campus. But she also is excited about her teammates, joining a freshman class that includes 2013 state runner-up Mary Ellen Romero of Hamilton Southeastern and 2013 Indiana Section Junior PGA Championship runner-up Kayla Adamson of Marion.
"I think it's going to be a really good season," Nadaline said. "We should have a really good team this year."
She ended her high school career in the fall with a fourth-place finish at the IHSAA state finals, and she finished in the top 10 in each of her final three high school seasons.
If it seems like just yesterday she was a bright-eyed freshman competing for the Indians for the first time, it's a thought shared by Nadaline herself.