The Herald Bulletin

December 30, 2012

Nadaline has big day in 'Big Easy'

By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Add another notch to Morgan Nadaline’s impressive list of career credentials.

The Anderson High School junior sank a 6-foot putt on the final hole Saturday to win her age group in the Tommy Moore Memorial Junior Golf Championship at Lakewood Golf Club in New Orleans.

“It feels good,” Nadaline said by cellphone from the celebratory clubhouse. “I’m still kind of shocked, but I’ll get over it.”

Nadaline shot a final-round 80 to finish with a two-day total of 161. That was one stroke better than Angelica Harris of Harvey, La., who was the first-round leader after shooting a 79.

Nadaline took a three-shot lead into the final hole but ran into trouble on her approach.

She left a shot short of the green and into a bunker. She chipped out to within 6 feet of the hole but watched as Harris dropped her own chip shot within 1 foot.

With Harris facing a short putt for birdie, Nadaline was feeling the pressure as she lined up her own putt.

“I had to make a 6-footer to win it,” Nadaline said.

She did, to salvage a bogey and walk away with the title in the girls’ 14- to 18-year-old division.

“I kinda knew (the putt was for the championship), but I wasn’t for sure,” Nadaline said.

It wasn’t until she got back into the clubhouse and the scorecards were added that she realized what she had accomplished.

“I didn’t know what to think,” she said. “I was kind of shocked, I was kind of happy. My mind was everywhere.”

The 2-year-old tournament sent out invitations to junior champions from all 50 states. Eight of them accepted, across four divisions for boys and girls, creating a strong field of competitors.

The victory is just the latest accomplishment for Nadaline who won the Indiana State Girls Junior Championship this summer and again was named the Indiana Golf Association’s Girls Junior Golfer of the Year.

She also made her third straight IHSAA state finals appearance in the fall, where she finished in 11th place.

Nadaline said the victory ranks high on her career list, comparing it to her second-place finish in the Women’s Western Junior Championship this summer when she lost in the final match-play pairing against an opponent from Thailand.

“It’s up there with the Western,” she said. “This is probably even better.”