One of the best female golfers in St. Charles history doesn’t have much use for her clubs these days.
Megan Morgan, who won an IHSA individual state championship at St. Charles High and went on to be an All-American golfer at the University of North Carolina, said she has played “maybe five times in the past six or seven years.”
A 1994 St. Charles graduate, Morgan is among four former Saints who will be inducted tonight as Jodie Harrison Lifetime Achievement Award recipients before tonight’s boys basketball game against Batavia.
During her 20 years of golf – starting at age 4 – Morgan put her all into the sport. When it was over, Morgan had little trouble moving on.
“It’s fun when I have a group of friends who just want to have fun,” Morgan said. “What’s not fun is when someone wants to play competitively, and the reason being now, when my customers or someone says ‘Hey, let’s go play golf, I’d like to play golf with you,’ my answer is ‘OK, but just so you know, I don’t hit out of sand traps anymore.’
“They’re like ‘What do you mean?’ I’m like ‘Well, if I get into a sand trap, I throw it out of the sand trap.’ The next question is ‘How do you keep score?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t.’ I don’t need to. I’ve been there. I just want to have fun.”
After wrapping up at UNC, Morgan spent a year as a professional golfer on the Futures Tour in 1999. She had some success – including a 5-under-par round at a tournament in downstate Decatur – but Morgan burned out quickly.
“Having had the opportunity to do it all over again, I would do it very differently,” Morgan said. “I just didn’t think I wanted to do that for a living, so instead of just having fun with it and seeing where I could take it, I just constantly questioned doing that for a living. When I played golf in high school and college, I had school and a sorority and other avenues, other outlets I had available to be a three-dimensional person.
“Whereas, when you go play professional golf, when you’re on the road, you’re with other golfers. You go home, you’re roommates with other golfers. On your days off, you’re going to play golf. You talk about golf, you watch golf on TV. It is golf, golf, golf. God bless the rest of those girls that had a passion for the game that I just didn’t have.”
Morgan said she loved her college years at North Carolina, but her career as a Tar Heel might have contributed to draining the joy for golf that she had as a girl.
“When you’re an athlete at UNC, if you’re not a national champion, you’re a failure,” Morgan said. “So having that goal, when you’re in it, you don’t realize how high your standards that you set are at that school. Looking back, you’re like ‘Oh, my God.’ ”
Morgan joked that St. Charles is like Los Angeles in that there are so many transplants, but she was an exception, logging most of her fun-filled, formative golf rounds at St. Charles Country Club with family and friends. Her freshman year at St. Charles High was the first year the Saints fielded a girls golf program.
Morgan’s parents, Craig and Darlene, as well as her younger brother, C.J., still live in St. Charles.
Morgan resides in Chicago, where she works for Eurex, a European derivatives trading firm.
Her work will keep her from enjoying tonight’s hall of fame induction in person. Morgan is scheduled to depart today on a long-planned business trip to Frankfurt, Germany.
Although she’s sorry the trip conflicts with tonight’s honor, she has few other regrets when it comes to her work in the trading industry.
“When I went down on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for the first time, I felt a passion,” Morgan said. “I have a passion for free markets. I know that makes me sound like a geek, but I’m very passionate about my job today. I didn’t have that passion about golf.”
• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.