One of the top high school golfers in the world is towering above the competition while living right here in North Texas.
The nicknames for 16-year-old golf sensation Tommy Morrison are endless.
“Big Tom, Big T, that’s the normal one,” Morrison said. “I’ve gotten Big Unit, that’s another one.”
“Tommy the Gun Morrison,” said Tommy’s mother, Alison. “Big Tom, Big Unit. But to me, he’s always been, Tommy.”
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Always been Tommy and always been head and shoulders above just about everyone else around him. Just a sophomore in high school, Tommy is 6 feet 9 inches tall and the top-ranked golfer in the country for 2023, already using his height to help him hit the golf ball as far or further than some of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour.
“If you look at some of the longer hitters, they are taller,” said Tommy. “Bryson (DeChambeau) is pretty tall, Dustin Johnson is pretty tall, so from a height perspective, I think it’s an advantage for me.”
But while playing a round with him at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, Morrison showed NBC 5's Pat Doney first-hand his game is about much more than just the long ball.
“There’s a lot of guys out there who hit it plenty far but can’t get the ball in the hole,” Morrison said. “A great example is Bryson at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Everyone talks about how far he was hitting it, but he was way up there in the top five in strokes gained in putting.”
And it’s that attention to small details – along with the support of his parents, who travel all over the country with him for tournaments – that has many in the golf world believing, Tommy’s future is extremely bright in a sport that is not exactly a Morrison family pastime.
“I grew up with a father who was a basketball player, Tommy’s great-grandfather was a professional baseball player who last played with the Brooklyn Dodgers,” Alison said. “We did not grow up with golf, and my husband certainly didn’t. He’s a casual golfer who maybe plays 10 times a year at best.”
So why not basketball?
“I played a bunch of sports,” Tommy said. “I played basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, I played everything, and it just came time for me to pick one and go from there.”
And it seems Tommy has chosen correctly, as he has already accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Texas, and he’s been able to use his golf success to raise money for charity, including $15,000 for Mt. Sinai hospital in New York City, where he had a life-saving emergency heart procedure done as an infant that has made a major impact on his approach to life and golf.
“Somehow or another I believe he was really destined for this game because he’s already made great strides and an impact in giving back to the hospital,” Alison said. “I think it’s made a very lasting impression on him.”
A lasting impression on a cerebral young golfer who is literally head and shoulders above his peers – and just about everyone else on the golf course, as Tommy Morrison continues to earn nicknames and a reputation as a golfer with a bright future who is not shy about his long-term dreams and goals.
“I want to be the best golfer in the world, that’s my dream,” Tommy said. “Hopefully I can work my tail off and make it a reality one day.”