Guhne signs one dur­ing early pe­riod for 2019-2020 ros­ter

The Catoosa County News - - SPORTS - From press re­lease

The Chat­tanooga Mocs men’s golf team re­cently signed ju­nior col­lege trans­fer Matt Smith. Smith, cur­rently a fresh­man at Wal­lace State Com­mu­nity Col­lege, has three years of el­i­gi­bil­ity re­main­ing.

Get­ting Smith be­came a pri­or­ity ac­cord­ing to Coach Mark Guhne be­cause of the three years re­main­ing. It was ap­par­ent that com­mit­ting to the stu­dent-ath­lete now made the re­la­tion­ship pos­si­ble.

“We’re ex­cited to get Matt on board for the next three years,” Guhne shared. “There were a lot of Power 5 con­fer­ence schools talk­ing to him, try­ing to get him to wait an­other year to eval­u­ate him fur­ther. We be­lieve in what Matt brings to our team. I think that com­mit­ment was as im­por­tant to him as it was to us.”

Smith flew un­der the radar dur­ing his high school ca­reer at Cle­ments High School (Athens, Ala.). He made a huge im­pres­sion in the fall cap­tur­ing the NJCAA Di­vi­sion I na­tional Pre­view dur­ing the fall. He shot a fi­nal round 67 (-5) to win by two with a 4-un­der to­tal of 212. He also tied for third in the Wal­lace State In­vi­ta­tional turn­ing in 6 un­der with cards of 72, 69 and 69.

He was a four-time County Cham­pion and AHSAA Class 3A Sec­tion All-tour­na­ment dur­ing his Cle­ments ca­reer. He qual­i­fied for the state tour­na­ment as a ju­nior and se­nior claim­ing top fives both times. There were 14 top five ju­nior fin­ishes as he was the 11th-ranked ju­nior in Alabama in 2018, No. 4 is his grad­u­at­ing class.

“We missed out on him in high school,” Guhne added. “When I say we, I mean a lot of Di­vi­sion I coaches. Matt has the abil­ity to be a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor.”

The Mocs re­turn to the tee on Feb. 10 in Palm City, Fla. They take on the field at the UNCG Banyan Creek Col­le­giate, a three-day, 54-hole event. The squad had one team and in­di­vid­ual win in the fall, both com­ing at the Mem­phis In­ter­col­le­giate. Oliver Si­mon­sen’s school-record 21-un­der per­for­mance (195) led the team to 13-un­der 851.

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