Morningside won two tournaments and was the GPAC runner-up to match its highest league finish in school history.
Morningside accomplished several noteworthy accomplishments in the 2016-17 men’s golf season.
The Mustangs won two tournament championships and finished second in the final Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) standings for their highest league finish in school history, matching runner-up efforts by their 2009-10 and 2012-13 teams.
Morningside won its first tournament title of the season when it carded a 583 for a 12-stroke victory margin at the two-day Ottawa University Invitational held Sept. 12 and 13 at Eagle Bend Golf Course in Lawrence, Kan. The Mustangs also reigned at the GPAC Fall Qualifier with 293 for a four-stroke victory margin on Oct. 3 at Willow Run Golf Course in Sioux Falls, S.D. Morningside just missed adding a third tournament championship to its 2016-17 resume when it lost in a sudden death playoff against Northwestern College after the teams finished 36-hole regulation play tied at 581 in the Briar Cliff Invitational on April 12 and 13 at Sioux City’s Green Valley Golf Course.
Corey Matthey, a freshman from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, made Morningside golfing history when he became the Mustangs’ first player to ever survive the individual cut at the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship. Matthey finished in 23rd place in the national tournament individual standings with a 72-hole total of 304 strokes played May 16-19 at TPC at Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. Matthey’s 23rd place finish topped Morningside’s previous best NAIA National Championship individual effort when Dave Young was in 41st place to miss the individual cut by one spot in the 2010 event.
Matthey qualified for the NAIA National Championship as the GPAC’s individual medalist with a four-round total of 302 to join Brandon Thompson (2011-12) as the second GPAC medalist in Morningside history.
Matthey had a 74.6-stroke scoring average in the fall season and topped the Mustangs with an average of 75.0 in the spring campaign to finish as the team’s overall scoring leader with an average of 74.9. He had the Mustangs’ top score of the spring season with a two-under par 70 in the first round of the Briar Cliff Invitational on April 12 at Green Valley Golf Course.
Zach Ward, a junior from Waterloo, Iowa, was the Mustangs’ top individual performer during the fall season when he led the team with a 73.2 scoring average and was the individual medalist with a 141 at the two-day Ottawa Invitational and with a 144 at the two-day Hastings College Roger Doerr Invitational. Ward carded a two-under par 70 in the second round of the Ottawa Invitational on Sept. 13 at Eagle Bend Golf Course for the Mustangs’ top individual score of the fall season.
Ferran Cortilla, a sophomore from Barcelona, Spain, had the Mustangs’ second lowest cumulative scoring average over the 2016-17 campaign with averages of 75.7 in the fall and 76.0 in the spring for an overall average of 75.9. His top score of the season was an even par 71 in the GPAC Fall Qualifier on Oct. 3 at Willow Run Golf Course. Cortilla finished fourth in the final GPAC individual standings with a 306 to finish just four strokes off the pace of individual medalist Matthey.
Cody Holck, a sophomore from Ankeny, Iowa, averaged 75.2 in the fall and 77.9 in the spring to rank third on the Mustangs with an overall scoring average of 76.5. Holck’s top score of the campaign was an even par 72 in the second round of the Blue River Classic on Sept. 21 at Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln, Neb.
Morningside had four other players finish with scoring averages in the 70s.
Ben Peterson, a sophomore from Saint Anthony, Minn., had a 77.5 average with a low score of even par 71 in the first round of the Siouxland Invitational on Sept. 8 at Landsmeer Golf Club in Orange City, Iowa.
Matt McGhee, a freshman from London, Canada, had a 78.4 average with a low score of one-under par 71 in the first round of the Briar Cliff Invitational on April 12 at Green Valley Golf Course.
Caleb Ott, a junior from Westminster, Colo., had a 79.5 average with a low score of three-over par 74 in the first round of the Siouxland Invitational on April 12 at Landsmeer Golf Club.
Tyler Danke, a freshman from Sioux City, had a 79.8 average with a low score of even par 72 in the second round of the Doane University Spring Invite on April 8 at College Heights Country Club in Crete, Neb.