Easton Key and T.J. Morgan showed why they are the top ranked team in the Bill Davis 4th of July Tournament Saturday morning, advancing to the championship round while breezing by Bobby Maddox and Eddie Brown in 12 holes at Northwood Country Club.
The duo snatched an advantage early by winning the first two holes and never took their foot off the throttle, winning the match seven holes to none.
“We got off to a great start,” Key said. “Being two up through two is a good way to start. We were seven-under as a team after 12 holes, so we just really played well today.”
The fast start went a long way for the No. 1 seed in the tournament, as it allowed Key and Morgan to relax and let birdies come to them. That confidence would only grow as the day went on, as they continued to play their game and out power their opponents.
“It just kind of calms you down to get that early lead,” Key said. “It gives you a little bit to work with if you were to have a bad hole or anything. It helps to know you have a little bit of a lead to fall back on.”
Meanwhile, Maddox and Brown were constantly forced to take costly risks to make up for their lack of distance on drives.
“They are good players, but we had a definite length advantage over them,” Key said of his opponents. “That was a disadvantage for them, so they were trying to hit it closer and trying to knock it out there to give them a better chance.”
The two teams would tie the third hole, before Key and Morgan took the fourth to go up by three.
Brown had a chance to spur a comeback, as he lined up for a birdie putt on the fifth hole. However, he was unable to sink the putt, missing on a crucial opportunity to get a hole back and begin a run.
“That’s really where it changed,” Key said. “If he had made that putt, it could have really changed the tide.”
Instead, Key and Morgan would go on to birdie the next three holes to take a
commanding six hole lead after eight holes. The duo would then birdie the 10th hole before matching Maddox and Brown on 11 and 12 to clinch a victory and an early trip back to the clubhouse for an easy afternoon.
“We are pretty confident,” Key said after the win. “Obviously we didn’t have much we need to work on this afternoon. We will probably just chill out, and get ready for tomorrow.”
Key and Morgan will tee off against Joey Mabry and Justin Catlett in the semifinals, while Clay Bounds and John Rea will go off against Nathan Kirkland and KyleMurray on the other side of the bracket. All tee times are set for 8:30 a.m. today at Northwood Country Club.
Though he golfs at Northwood almost every day, Keys has never won a tournament on the course –– something the young golfer hopes to change today.
“I’ve always thought that tournaments are the way you gain respect,” Key said. “A win tomorrow would definitely go along way.”