IRVING, Texas- For his efforts toward a share of eighth place at the prestigious 71st Annual Western Intercollegiate, UTEP men’s golfer Charles Corner was named the Conference USA Golfer of the Week for the first time on Wednesday.
“He’s [Corner] been playing great all spring, I’m very happy for him,” head coach Scott Lieberwirth said. “To get a top-10 [finish] in an event that strong, that’s a huge confidence boost to continue on through the rest of the season. His game is right there and I’m convinced he’s got all the capability to breakthrough and even win the conference individually. The state of his game is in a great spot, as good as it’s been in the three years he’s been here.”
Climbing three spots after the final round, Corner spearheaded the Miners’ charge at the Intercollegiate, firing a two-over-par 212 (72-69-71) to top his team’s scorecard and help the Miners to a seventh-place finish. The team bested No. 17 Texas, No. 25 Arizona State and No. 32 San Diego State after shooting 1,084 (361-356-367) in the 15-team field, which included eight nationally-ranked teams.
“A third of the way through the final round I heard I was in fourth place at one point and I just stuck to my game plan and kept doing my thing,” Corner said. “It came down to a pretty good score on the final day. It’s good to get those results, especially this time of the year when we need to finish off strong before conference, so its defiantly really positive and good for the team.”
Of the 96 players in the tournament, only three shot under par. Corner’s score was better than 19 players ranked in the Golfstat Top 100, including six of the top-10 players.
A junior from Cayuga, Ontario, Canada has recorded a 72.5 scoring average, third-best on the UTEP squad. He has tallied three top-10 finishes this year in 10 tournaments, with his work at the Western Intercollegiate marking the first time he was the top finisher for UTEP this year.
Corner is the third Miner to earn the C-USA Golfer of the Week honor this season. Andreas Sorensen earned his first recognition the week of September 14 and Frederik Dreier got the nod on October 19.
“It gives me and the team a lot of momentum,” Corner said. “We finished pretty well [at the Western Intercollegiate], we beat a lot of good schools that are ranked better than us so that’s always nice.”
Corner and the rest of the UTEP squad will head to the Conference USA Championships April 23-26 in Texarkana, Ark.
“I think everyone is pretty pumped up that we beat Texas and some high ranked teams, that’s only going to carry over and do good things for us. Those are some big wins, so its good for us to know we can compete against those [ranked] schools going into conference play.”