SOUTHERN PINES — The USGA reserves the honor of hitting the first tee ball in all their championships to a local player. At the U.S. Women’s Open this year it went to Anna Morgan from Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The 20-year old amateur, a senior at Furman University, walked to the ninth tee at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club just before 7 a.m. and was warmly greeted by her family and friends.
After being introduced by former LPGA player and UNC golfer Donna Andrews, Morgan calmly acknowledged the spectators gathered around the tee — then striped one down the middle to start her first very U.S. Women’s Open.
On the bag this week will be Joe Zwickl, a caddie at the Pinehurst Resort. They met last year in Pinehurst at the Women’s North & South Amateur. Morgan finished runner up, and she told Zwickl he would be her caddie going forward.
Zwickl keeps things upbeat, but helps Morgan get focused at the right time — something she is known for.
Morgan has been playing golf since age 4, according to her mother, Elizabeth. She played baseball with the boys, until she was told that she had to play softball with the other girls.
That changed everything.
Instead of softball, she was “total golf,” her mother said.
Morgan, not normally a morning person, will play her second round at 12:45 Friday afternoon off the first tee.