SoCon Golfer of Year Matt Cook wraps up year in NCAA East Regional

After winning the SoCon golf championship, sophomore Matt Cook had bigger fish to fry as he headed for the NCAA East Regional Championships at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Florida. Cook finished with a three-round score of 237 to finish 123rd in a 141-person field. After going three over on his first three holes of the third round, Cook birdied the eighth hole. A double bogey on the ninth pushed him back to five-over 41 on the front nine. Cook came back with three pars and a birdie on the par three thirteenth hole. After four more pars, Cook finished with a bogey to finish with an even par back nine. The performance may not be what Cook expected but it none-the-less a great source of pride for the Western campus and athletics department. On the second day, Cook had his best round of golf as he shot a 74. The total was a 12-shot improvement from the opening round. After starting off with a double bogey and single bogey in the first five holes, Cook rebounded with a birdie on the par three sixth and then played even par over the final 12 holes. Cook had two birdies and two bogeys on those final 12. The first round is where Cook really hurt himself. Appearing in his and the school’s first ever NCAA postseason golf tournament, Cook no doubt had butterflies in his stomach. After starting with a par and birdie, Cook hit five straight bogies with a triple bogey to finish with a 43 on the front nine. Cook didn’t far much better on the back nine as the only bright spot was a birdie on the final hole.Cook finished with a first-round score of 86 to really push him out of contention in the beginning. With a career stroke average of 71 and a no career round over 76 before the East regional, the 86 really looked un-Cook-like. If Cook had been able to shoot his average for three days, then he would have tied for 5th place, but alas, it was not meant to be. Cook did, however, do his school proud, and we look forward to more tournament appearances from him in the next two years.