The National Championship was held at TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois (a highly prestigious course where many professionals had played). It was the second day of the tournament and the conditions were simply terrible. It had rained all evening and there were no signs of it stopping.
Many would have accepted defeat to the conditions, but Corey Matthey was keen to show no mercy. He had something to prove.
The rain continued to heavily downpour onto the field throughout the day. Coach Sapp, who travelled with Corey, decided to walk off the course to seek shelter from the terrible conditions that lay ahead. Despite all that was going wrong around, Corey was able to stay focused and put his hard work into action during the second day to make sure he made the cut and finished strongly.
The conditions resulted in many players surrendering themselves to the course. Grips became too wet to handle properly. The ground became too soft to make solid contact. Players soaked through from head to toe. This only played to Corey’s strengths (of resiliency and determination) and helped him to achieve an impressive 21st place finish overall.
Battling through these conditions showed the determination required to be a strong athlete, both mentally and physically.
Corey’s main standout quality, as both a golfer and a person, is his ambition and ability to not give up. He has always set himself challenging tasks, no matter what the demand may be. Corey also sets incredibly high standards for himself, which drives him to achieve the most possible from his golf game.
“I’ve always had the drive to get better and improve as a player. From a young age I would always push myself to go that extra mile. Wether that be beating balls down the range until there was no light or sinking 50 putts before I could go home. I would always push myself that bit further”. This highlights Corey’s determination to always get better and to achieve the most he can out of his golf game.
Off the course, Corey is often found working in the gym trying to find alternative ways to seek improvement. He claims, “Golf’s changing. It’s changing for the better. The top players in the world are spending countless hours in the gym working on their strength and flexibility. It’s becoming the norm for the best. Training isn’t a luxury, it’s an investment”.
This provides an insight into the competitive mindset Corey has, and highlights his desire to get better. These workouts consist of mobility and strength work. Mobility is critical in the golf swing so Corey ensures his body is in great physical shape to perform his best. Mobility work also greatly contributes to a wider range of motion, with helps the golf swing dramatically. The strength element is to hit the ball further to gain an advantage on his competitors.
“I like my body to work with me, not against me. So, I make sure I put the hours to allow this to happen”. This provides an insight into why Corey likes to maintain his physical training off the course.
Todd Sapp, Morningside’s golf coach, describes Corey as a key member to the Morningside Mustangs. Coach Sapp described Corey by stating “he’s really f*cking good,” which portrays his importance in the golf roster. Coach Sapp was present at Corey’s first successful campaign where he described Corey as a “true fighter,” who was able to handle the conditions and put himself in a good spot to contend for the championship.
Jonny Douglas, a fellow member of the Morningside golf team, also had words of praise to say about Corey. “He plays with a steely focus in his eyes. You can see how focused he is on his task and what he’s trying to achieve”. Douglas talked about the impressive stats behind Corey’s freshman year and his ability to win a GPAC title in his first year of college golf.
Corey claims he remains “in the zone” throughout competition. He doesn’t allow “any external factors to distract” him from his goal. This may be said for the “steely focus” Jonny was able to identify throughout competition.
Overall, Corey is a great athlete who can get the most out of his golf game via his strong physical and mental attributes. Both of these factors in abundance make a strong competitor.