KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Jack Morris picked a good time to have a career day on the golf course.
The recent Franklin High School graduate fired a 9-under, 63 at Three Ridges Golf Course on Wednesday to distance himself from the field in the second round of the Tennessee Junior Amateur Championship.
Morris, who will be attending Lipscomb University in the fall, improved to 12-under for the tournament and holds a six-stroke lead over Shelbyville’s Evan Woosley-Reed heading into Thursday’s final round.
“It was a pretty fun round,” Morris grinned. “Honestly, it hasn’t even really set in yet. I was just kind of doing my thing and just rolling it. The way I played yesterday, I knew I could have a low number, but I didn’t know if I would actually come out and do it.”
“It gives me a lot of confidence going into the final round.”
Morris opened the tournament with a 69 on Tuesday, and said after that round that it could have been a lot better had he avoided a couple of mistakes.
That’s exactly what he did in the second round. He had one bogey on the card – coming on the par three, 5th – but four birdies on the front nine more than made up for that.
The back nine is where Morris really shined as he poured in six birdies coming in, including on four of his last five holes.
“Today I just wanted to stay patient,” Morris added. “I was hitting it well, putting it well. I shot three under on the front and everything just started to click on the back. I hit it well and made a bunch of putts.
Woosley-Reed, a University of Tennessee commitment in the Class of 2022, turned in a bogey-free card of 5-under, 67 to jump up the leaderboard (71-67).
There are three golfers in a tie for third place at -4, eight strokes back of Morris. Jack Tickle of Bristol – an East Tennessee State University commitment – and Cameron Tankersley of Dickson have both went 70-70 over the first two days, while Farragut’s Lance Simpson – another University of Tennessee commitment – followed up a 72 with a 68.
Franklin’s William Rieck, who has signed to play at Washington & Lee University, is alone in sixth at 3-under (71-70). Kingsport’s Taylor Kilgore (74-68) and Auburntown’s Garrett Chumley (69-73) are tied for seventh at 2-under.
Sheldon McKnight (Ooltewah) had the second-best round of the tournament – behind Morris’ 63 – on Wednesday as he posted a 65. With four birdies on each side, and one bogey mixed in, the effort was 13 strokes better than the 78 he shot in the opening round, leaving him at one-under for the tournament in ninth place.
Aiden Collier (Greeneville, 2023) and Patton Samuels (Clarksville, 2022) round out the top ten at even par.
A total of 15 boys broke par on Wednesday. Lofton McRee (Murfreesboro, 2023) joined Simpson and Kilgore in shooting a four-under, 68. McRee is in a four-way tie for 12th at one-over with Carson Kammann (Knoxville, 2022), Jaden Morrell (Knoxville, 2024) and Conner Brown (Shelbyville, 2022).
The race for the Tennessee Girls’ Junior Amateur title should be heated on Thursday as five golfers are within five strokes of the lead.
Clarksville’s Kendall Maynard rose to the top of the leaderboard with a four-under, 68 to put her -2 for the tournament (74-68).
She has a one-stroke lead over Kynadie Adams (Gallatin, 2022), who bounced back from her opening-round 75 with a 68 as well.
The two took different routes to get their respective scores on Wednesday. Maynard had a blemish-free card with four birdies, while Adams had an eagle, five birdies and three bogeys.
Sophie Linder (Carthage, 2023) has posted a pair of 72s to sit at even par going into the final round. Day-one leader Lynn Lim – a Vanderbilt commitment – is one-over (71-74), while Ole Miss signee McKinley Cunningham (Clarksville) sits alone in fifth at +3.
Rounding out the top ten are: Anna Heck (Memphis, 2023) and Alabama commitment Isabella van der Biest (Kingsport, 2021) at +5; Claire Henson (Jackson, 2024) at +7; University of Cincinnati signee Sadie Pan (Clarksville, 2020) and Hannah Nall (Cleveland, 2022) at +10.
The top five players on the girls’ leaderboard are very familiar with each other. Maynard and Cunningham played on the same high school team in Clarksville, while Adams, Linder and Lim all grew up playing together at Tennessee Grasslands.