In the door-prize drawing following the two-day Donald R. Morgan Memorial Club Championship at the Kenai Golf Course on Sunday, Homer’s Chris Morin won a 3-wood.
Don’t expect to see Morin using that club much around the penal, par-72 layout though. Morin has taken to a strategy of hitting mostly 4-irons off the tees at Kenai, and it’s taken him where no golfer at the course has gone before.
Morin is in the midst of another solid summer of golf. Recently, he tied the course record of 22 at the nine-hole, par-27 Homer Golf Course.
Morin cruised to his third-straight Morgan title with a 16-over, two-day total of 160 on Sunday. Three players finished eight strokes back — Mark Griffin, Michael Houghton and Doug Jung.
There are two major two-day, stroke-play tournaments at Kenai Golf Course — the Morgan and the Kenai Open.
Morin also has won the last two Kenai Opens, meaning he’s on a five-tournament run that nobody can ever remember being duplicated.
“That’s extremely motivating,” Morin said of his success. “I want to keep playing every time because I want to defend. I don’t need much motivation to play golf, but this definitely helps.”
He said he had a 3 1/2-footer for sole possession of the record that happened to come in front of Dave Schroer, an 88-year-old who also holds the nine-hole record. Morin lipped the putt out.
Last weekend, he finished 14th at the Alaska State Amateur Golf Championship, which was held in Fairbanks this year. Partially based on that result, Morin earned one of 12 coveted spots for amateurs in the Bomar Cup, an event where Alaska’s best amateurs take on Alaska professionals.
Then Saturday and Sunday, he continued his dominance at Kenai by continuing to avoid big scores.
The key to winning a tournament at Kenai is to avoid that blowup round. Many times, it is hard to do that for just two days. Morin has now done it for five straight tournaments.
He had rounds of 78 and 82 in this tournament, with the 82 actually being the worst he’s fired in the past five Kenai major tournaments. Coming into Sunday, all of Morin’s rounds in the last five tourneys had been between 80 and 75.
“My irons are really good into the green,” Morin said. “I just want to get to the point where I have an open iron into the green.”
Enter the 4-iron. Morin said he hits his driver on only two or three holes, instead opting for a 4-iron that he knows will go 230 yards and stay in the fairway.
“The course is not long enough for that to be a problem for me,” Morin said of his 230-yard drives.
Over the two days of play, Morin had three double bogeys and one triple bogey. How the triple bogey happened was telling — it started with a wayward 3-wood on the par-4 17th.
With the Kenai Open set for Saturday and Sunday, Morin said he could not yet commit to playing, although he said the hospitality and nice prizes at Kenai Golf Course make the event hard to pass up.
“Somehow, I usually find a way to get here,” Morin said.
Houghton made it a clean sweep for southern Peninsula golfers by taking the net at 146. Mark McComsey was second at 148, Pat Bowen was third and Mark Griffin was fourth. Bowen and Griffin both had 150, with Bowen winning after a card-back.
Closest to the pins Saturday went to Mark Griffin on No. 5, Charlie Kahakauwila on No. 10 and Kirk Hyman on No. 14. Sunday, Kahakauwila won at the fifth, McComsey won at the ninth, Bob Bush won at the 10th and Keith Stuart won at the 14th.
Jeff Helminiak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.