Halley Morell started playing on the North Coast Junior Tour as a small 13 year old and her story since those early days is truly amazing. It’s a story that makes us proud as tour administrators and drives us to keep the passion for being the best we can be, year in and year out, for all of our junior tour players. Her story is about passion, drive and support that took her well beyond anyone’s expectation. We’ll start by giving a glimpse of how it all started and we’ll let her father’s most recent update tell the rest.
|Halley Morell – Her First Season on NCJT|
|06/10/2008 – Lost Nation Golf Course||117|
|06/12/2008 – K F C Junior Classic At Gleneagles||121|
|06/19/2008 – Grandview Golf Club||114|
|06/26/2008 – Punderson Golf Course||117|
|07/03/2008 – Fowlers Mill Golf Course||120|
|07/10/2008 – Pleasant Hill Golf Course||100|
|07/15/2008 – Little Mountain Golf Course||127|
|07/17/2008 – Blackbrook Country Club||97|
|07/22/2008 – Astorhurst Country Club||98|
|07/24/2008 – Key Bank Wealth Management Classic At Pine Ridge||96|
A 110.7 scoring average in her first season didn’t exactly stop the presses, but it lit the fire. She saw what the best players were capable of and that’s all it took for her to set her goals and set sail on what has become a truly incredible journey. The one thing that stands out is her father’s support in this journey. We have seen thousands of juniors come through the tour over the past 25 years and Dan Morell is clearly one of the most devoted parents we have witnessed on so many levels. He has written updates to us on a yearly basis and each one reveals milestone after milestone. The passion and bond they have for each other is one of the main reasons we are sharing her story, so from here we’ll let Mr. Morell’s words reveal the rest.
May 12, 2016 – His latest update
Halley graduated last week from Penn State. I still picture her as a 13 year old afraid of her own shadow walking up to the first tee at Lost Nation in her first ever North Coast Junior Tour event in June of 2008. They did a video tribute of her at the Senior Banquet last week where they posted multiple pictures of Halley on the North Coast Junior Tour with me caddying and her receiving awards from Tony Milam and Mr. Dawson. I don’t know where the years have gone.
In her last regular season collegiate golf event in April, Halley tried to go out with a bang finishing 3rd at the River Landing Classic in Wilmington, NC, shooting 74-75-70=219, breaking her previous collegiate records for lowest 18 hole score and lowest 54 hole tournament score. She came up 2 shots short of winning. In the fall, Halley was selected as one of the Big 10’s Top players to watch, and in season ending awards Halley was the recipient of Penn State’s “Outstanding Athletic/Academic Achievement Award” for her stand out performances for the Women’s Golf team and in the classroom. Halley was also selected as the Big 10 Sportsmanship Award Honoree for Women’s Golf awarded to students who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the students selected in each sport must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Halley is a 4-time Academic All American awarded to varsity athletes who play in at least 75% of varsity events and maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA or above. As a four year Division I varsity starter, she completed her collegiate golf career with 1 tournament win, 2 runner-up finishes, 9 top five finishes and 11 top ten finishes in 34 collegiate tournaments. She finished her Senior season with two top 5 finishes and a 75 stroke scoring average for 18 holes. After 2 years playing Women’s Golf for Robert Morris University (prior to transferring to Penn State), she set and still holds their all time single season and career scoring average records, and was selected as not only the Team MVP but also as the Conference “Player of the Year” and the Conference “Scholar Athlete of the Year.” Halley was the individual runner-up in the 2015 Ohio Women’s State Amateur Golf Championship held at Weymouth CC in Medina, OH in July 2015. Halley plans to pursue her Masters of Business Administration degree in graduate school at the University of Texas at El Paso in the fall, where she was recently selected to become the Women’s Assistant Golf Coach, for their Division I program in Conference USA.
Next week Halley and Danielle Nicholson, will be competing in the United States Golf Association Women’s Four Ball National Championship being held at the Streamsong Resort in Florida May 21-25, 2016, a two person best ball event, as the only team from Northeast Ohio to qualify for this national championship. Halley and Danielle teamed up and qualified for the national championship last August when they won the USGA Regional Qualifier held in Dayton, Ohio, shooting a 4 under par round of 68, beating the field by 5 strokes. Both players are coming off impressive record setting performances last month in collegiate tournaments and will be one of 64 teams that qualified for the National Championship. The Championship proper will consist of 36 holes of medal play to determine the 32 team field for match play and seeding of contestants.
When we wrote back to Mr. Morell to ask if we could share his latest update, here’s what he wrote back.
As for Halley, feel free to share as she has certainly been an inspiration to many. Penn State had a very young team with 5 freshman and two sophomores, and every year the week before finals they have a banquet honoring the Seniors, where the Coach says a few words about them and the Seniors give a speech. Halley had some great advice for the younger golfers and I have attached a copy of her Senior speech. When the Coach was talking about Halley, she shared how feisty Halley is on the golf course and how she seems to know everybody from ever team no matter where they traveled to. The best comment was her sharing a picture of Halley standing on a tee with 2 six foot tall collegiate golfers looking down at Halley, probably thinking what are you doing here. Then Halley drives the ball past both of them and beats them both. She said Halley was the greatest example she has seen in years embodying the old phrase “It is not the size of the lion in the fight that matters, it is the size of the fight in the lion.”
Not only did she embody this motto in golf, but also in the classroom, where she was 1 of 40 in her college to graduate with “Highest Distinction” (Summa Cum Laude), representing students graduating with a 3.95 cumulative gpa or higher. Halley had a perfect 4.0 cumulative gpa going into her last semester.
Comments and Likes are welcome!
The NCJT Committee