- "I don't want you to rule me out as the average guy from the country who picks up a gun once in a while. I'm here to compete."
- ―Phil Morden[src]
During Season Three, Phil was originally a member of the Red Team, but after making it to the final seven, he joined the Green Team. He was eliminated during Week Ten after losing an Elimination Challenge against Mike Hughes.
Phil was brought back, along with 16 previous contestants, to participate in Season Five, also called Top Shot: All Stars. In the end, Phil became the fifth Top Shot, after defeating Chris Cerino in the season finale.
Phil is a video producer and Three Gun competitor from Milford, Michigan. He began shooting at a young age when he got an air rifle for his birthday. Since that time, whenever Phil would get money from allowance or mowing, he'd buy better and more powerful air guns. He shot guns during his time in middle and high school. When Phil turned 18 years old, he built his own AR-15 rifle, and a few years later, at the age of 21, instead of going to the bar and drinking, Phil bought his first pistol, a Glock 22.
In Phil's audition video, he is seen shooting different weapons and stating his qualities as a marksman.
Top Shot: Season 3
- "I'm not going to go down lightly, and I want to make sure I make my mark in this competition."
- ―Phil Morden[src]
Phil arrived for Top Shot along with the other fifteen contestants. Here, the host of the competition, Colby Donaldson, stated that the placement of each individual would be determined by a Preliminary Challenge. In pairs, the contestants would shoot head-to-head using the Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum at three targets. Whichever of the pair could hit all of the targets first would be victorious and join the Blue Team, while the loser joined the Red Team.
After seven of the pairs had competed, Colby called Phil and Dustin Ellermann to shoot. Both men hit the first target simultaneously. The second target was hit first by Phil, but Dustin managed to quickly destroy it as well. Both of the contestants then commenced firing at the final target, until they ran out of rounds. This forced the two to reload. Phil's opponent managed to reload his weapon quicker and managed to take out the final target before Phil began shooting. After passing out the colored Top Shot jerseys, Colby allowed the contestants to head to the house they would be staying in during the competition. The Red Team arrived here first, claiming all of the bottom bunks of the beds, to their satisfaction.
The following day, the contestants arrived at the Shooting Range to participate in the first Team Challenge. Here, they noticed a number of platforms set up with targets in the distance. After all of the contestants got situated, Colby stated that for the challenge, two contestants would be assigned to one of the four platforms for their team. Once on these, the contestants would take out a target each using the Larue Tactical OBR before proceeding to the next station. He then stated that to get onto the platforms, they would not use the ladders built on, but a sixteen foot pole that would have to be carried to each station. The team that finished the course first would be victorious. Before engaging in the challenge, the teams decided on the shooting order, with the Red Team choosing Michael Marelli and Phil for the first platform. After Michael and Phil climbed onto the platform, the former began firing at his target, and quickly managed to hit it. He passed the weapon to Phil, who was able to destroy his target on the third shot. The Blue Team was able to maintain a lead until the third platform, due to struggles with hitting the targets. At the final station, Amanda Hardin and Chris Collins made their way up the poles, just seconds before the last shooters for Blue Team, Alex Charvat and Mike Hughes, giving the Red Team a slight lead. However, this lead diminished, due to Amanda having difficulties with hitting her target. After she destroyed the target, she gave the unloaded weapon to Chris. The latter began to reload the Larue, but was too late, as the last shooter for Blue Team had destroyed his target, resulting in Red Team's defeat.
When the Red Team returned to the house, they held a team meeting to decide who to nominate for the Elimination Challenge. Here, Amanda volunteered herself due to her performance in the Team Challenge. A few hours later, the Red Team arrived at the Nomination Range. The votes would be cast by shooting the target of the person each individual wanted to nominate. When Phil was called to vote, he shot at Amanda's target. After everybody, except for Chris, had voted, Amanda and Mark Schneider were to compete in the upcoming Elimination Challenge for their spot in the competition.
The following day, the Red Team returned to the Shooting Range to witness the first Elimination Challenge. Here, Colby stated that while riding a stagecoach, the contestants would shoot the Winchester Model 1873 at ten targets with a limited number of rounds. Whichever of the two could hit more of the targets would be safe and receive a $2000 gift card. In the end, Mark was victorious, having shot three targets in comparison to Amanda's one. Afterward, the Red Team returned to the house, where Mark nailed a red target bearing Amanda's name to the wall, in tribute to her.
After a night of rest, the contestants arrived back at the Shooting Range to attend a Practice Session. Here, Colby stated that they would be get accustomed to the AK-47 under guidance by expert, Craig Sawyer. After each member of Red Team was finished handling and shooting the weapon, they added a physical element to the Practice, by running in pairs to the two stations and competing. After all of this, the Red Team walked away, confident they would win the upcoming challenge.
The following day, the contestants arrived back at the Shooting Range to participate in the second Team Challenge. Here four obstacles and stations were set up. The first of these obstacles was a narrow pipe, which had to be crawled through. Next was a pit of water, which was followed by a crawl through mud and then sand under barbed wire. Two contestants would be assigned to a station, with an exception of the final one, and endure the obstacles standing in their way. At the stations, the contestants would each have to take out a target using the AK-47, with an exception of the last station, where one individual had to destroy two targets. Whichever team finished the course first would be victorious. Before participating in the challenge and determining the shooting order, the Red Team had to choose someone to sit out on the Blue Team, due to having one less member. They ultimately decided on Jarrett Grimes. After this, the teams assigned two individuals to each station, with the Red Team choosing Gary Quesenberry and Phil for the third. After Drew Shprintz and Mark Schneider completed the second station, Gary and Phil got through their pipe and then the water pit to obtain the AK-47's from their teammates. They then crawled through mud to get to their designated station and began firing at the two targets. After Gary destroyed his target, Phil commenced firing at his, destroying it on his first shot, giving the Red Team a sizable lead. Chris, the last shooter for Red Team, made it down to the third station, took the AK-47 from either Gary of Phil, and rushed towards the final station, with Blue Team member, Jake Zweig close behind. Chris let off his last shots before Jake was even given a chance to fire, resulting in Red Team's victory.
After returning to the house, the Blue Team held a team meeting before heading to the Nomination Range. When they returned, it was revealed that Sara Ahrens and Dustin Ellermann were sent to the Elimination Challenge. News of Dustin being sent shocked the Red Team, because he hadn't made any mistakes yet in the competition. The following day, the Blue Team departed once again to witness the Elimination Challenge. They returned afterward with Dustin, who nailed a blue target bearing Sara's name to the wall.
Top Shot: Season 5
In 2013, it was announced that Phil would be a contestant in Season Five, Top Shot All-Stars.