WINTHROP — There are not many things in sports more cruel than losing a team golf championship by a single stroke.

When you have five players each playing 18 holes, there are countless shots in a round where one could find that one stroke that would have made the difference,

That was the offseason for the Winthrop High School golf team following its one-stroke loss in the 2013 Class C golf championship.

It was also a feeling the Ramblers — and specifically, senior Taylor Morang — were determined not to experience again.

Morang came through when his team needed him most this fall, carding a 4-under-par 68 at Natanis Golf Course to help lead Winthrop to the Class C title by a margin of 315-324 over St. Dominic Academy.

For his efforts, Morang has been named the Kennebec Journal Golfer of the Year.

“I knew as a team we had to come out and play the best we could to come out on top,” Morang said. “I just really wanted to get it done for my team.

“…There was a lot of motivation going into the offseason and getting better as individuals to come back and try to win it.”

In his impressive final round Morang started off with three pars before he started rolling, carding an eagle and two straight birdies to move to 4-under through six holes. Two straight bogeys set him back a little bit, but he birdied the par-4 ninth to close out the front nine at 3-under.

Birdies on Nos. 12 and 15 allowed Morang to move to 5-under and threaten to post a really low number with just three holes to play, but he sandwiched a birdie around two bogeys to close out the round at 4-under.

A long hitter with strong iron play, Morang’s best club during the Oct. 11 championship was not his driver or a 7-iron — it was his putter.

“Definitely getting my putts rolling was a big confidence boost,” Morang said. “Once you get out there there’s not much you can do. We had all the preparation we needed, it was just executing.”

Morang could not, however, keep the same momentum rolling into the individual championship the following week as he shot an 8-over-par 80 to finish in sixth place, eight shots back of Mattanawcook’s Logan Thompson.

“I wish I could have done better but I was proud that we got the state title,” Morang said. “A couple others from my team did really well so I was happy for them.”

Morang said he is looking into playing golf in college but has yet to make a decision.

“I’m working on that process,” Morang said, “I haven’t fully committed to any school yet, I’ve just applied to a few.

“It’s tough managing not only to find a good team where I can play at and can get better and succeed, but also finding out where I want to spend the next four years. I’m looking for a fit both in golf and me personally.”

For now though, it’s on to the next season where Morang will be looking to help translate success on the course to the hardwood as a member of the Winthrop boys basketball team.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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