Golf Coaches, Aces Win Morris Memorial

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Almost 100 friends and former teammates of Jack Morris turned out for the inaugural Jack Morris Memorial Golf Tournament June 19 at Payson Golf Course.

Also attending were his mother, Terry, widow, Dawn and daughter, Courtney.

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The team of Tyler Danielson, Bret Morse, Billy Bob Hoyt and Denny Morse won the Inaugural Jack Morris Memorial Scholarship Tournament June 19 at Payson Golf Course.

Morris, the Longhorns' offensive/ defensive line coach and a member of the 1986 PHS team that reached the state championship, died Feb. 23 of complications from a stroke he suffered days earlier. He was 34 years old.

Played in a best ball format, the links benefit got off to a shot gun start at 7:30 a.m.

About four hours later in a post tournament celebration held in the clubhouse, tournament director Gary Cordell announced the foursome of Billy Bob Hoyt, Tyler Danielson, Bret Morse and Denny Morse won the tournament with a 57.

The team's victory came as no surprise. Bret and Denny Morse are the Payson High School golf coaches and both Hoyt and Danielson starred for the team last season.

The winning team had close ties to Morris. Bret and Denny Morse coached football at PHS with him. Hoyt and Danielson were players on teams Morris coached.

While some players were polished, like those on the winning team, others were rookie golfers playing mostly to show their support for Morris and the Payson High School football program.

"I've never seen so many bad golfers in one tournament," one player joked as he watched a teammate swat his tee shot off the fairway.

Former Longhorn golf star Brandan Kelley chided that he'd never played in a tournament where he "heard so many numbers," referring to the "fores" that were being shouted when tee shots went astray.

Following the benefit, Cordell and co-tournament director Eric Santana said the event was a complete success.

"It was a very good tournament, especially for a first one," Dennis Fendler said.

Cordell and Santana also expressed their appreciation to the Tonto Apache Tribe and the other sponsors who chipped in to ensure the inaugural event would go off without a hitch.

Proceeds from the benefit will be donated to the booster club and to an annual college scholarship fund in the memory of Morris.

The annual scholarship will go to a graduating senior who is continuing his/her education. The scholarship awards will begin with the class of 2005.

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