Webster golfer Brian Morris felt a tear in his back while swinging at a practice range in late March and knew instantly he injured himself. He did not let that injury end his career.
Morris said his doctor gave him a recovery time of six to eight weeks. He ended up playing just three weeks after at a tournament in Memphis, Tennessee.
Morris got a cortisone shot in four spots of his upper-left back to numb the pain. He said he felt good enough to swing in Memphis so he started the first round.
By the 15th hole, Morris felt the pain come back. He said he knew his career would end after that round. He closed out his Webster career with back-to-back birdies that day.
Head Coach Andrew Belsky said Morris played a big role on the team, being one of two seniors. Belsky said Morris playing before his expected return did not surprise him at all. Belsky said he wanted to at least give Morris the chance to play one last time for Webster.
“He ended his career how we all dream about,” Belsky said, “making a nice putt for birdie.”
Belsky said Morris proved to be one of the top golfers to play at Webster during his coaching tenure.
Morris said back problems affected him throughout his entire golf career. He attributed his 6-foot-5,170-pound frame as the source of most of his back issues.
“I played through a lot of pain in my career with just Aleve and ice,” Morris said.
He traveled with the team to Montgomery, Alabama, just four days after the injury to attempt to play. He took about 15 swings and said he could barely putt without experiencing pain.
Morris called teammate Will Murphy to come replace him. Murphy said he felt Morris still holds an important spot on the team even though his season ended.
Murphy said Morris playing in Memphis showed the large strides he made as a Webster golfer. Morris said he tested his limits during the first round of the tournament in Memphis.
“It felt like I was doing long-term damage to my back,” Morris said. “I’m not going to risk that for a couple more rounds of golf in college.”
Belsky said Morris showed a mixture of emotion and pain during the last couple holes he played. Belsky added not having Morris showed on the team’s scorecard.
Morris averaged five above par in 12 rounds for the 2018-2019 season. Morris ranked first among 114 players at the Culver’s Edgewood College Fall Classic last year.
Webster won the SLIAC golf tournament on April 23 in Peoria, Illinois. The team will play in the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships May 14-17 in Nicholasville, Kentucky.