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EMCC Golf Champion: Corey Knight

By Manuel Guerrero
Corey Knight: EMCC Golf Champion

Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC)’s golf program is a little over three years old and one team member is leaving his mark.

Twenty year old, Corey Knight recently competed at the National Junior College Athletic Association in Lubbock, Texas, placing 43rd nationally.

Before being recognized as a great player, Knight first picked up a golf club his freshman year of high school. With instructions from his father, he began to enjoy golf and played for Verrado High School, in Buckeye, Arizona. At the time, he did not have professional aspirations.  He just played for fun.

“[I found out I was good] when I got asked to play at Estrella Mountain,” said Knight, whose favorite player is Tiger Woods. “I just enjoyed playing golf.”

EMCC Men’s Golf Coach, Jeff Eccles, said he knew Knight had talent when he saw the athlete play during his sophomore year of high school. Eccles offered Knight a scholarship at EMCC to play for the Mountain Lions.  “When you recruit a young man like that, you know he is going to be a good player for the school. He had every shot in the bag,” said Eccles.

Knight is soft spoken, but according to Eccles, Knight’s game reflects his desire and passion for the sport.

“He is a consummate golfer and is always looking to improve,” said Eccles. “He is tenacious out there. When he sets a goal, he achieves it. He wants to be number one.”

Away from the golf course, Knight has the same aspirations as any 20-year-old: to get good grades at school and to make friends. However, his passion is golf through and through. Not many teenagers aspire to play at Augusta Municipal Golf Course or “The Patch,” one of the most famous golf courses in the United States. Knight has competed in the U.S. Open Local Qualifier, U.S. Amateur Local Qualifier and the Public Links Qualifier.  He spends four to six hours a day either working on his swing or competing.

At Estrella Mountain, Knight has been a very consistent golfer, averaging one or two strokes under par throughout last season. He has also improved on his weaknesses. “[Coach Eccles] helped me with the mental side of the game,” said Knight, who won the “Most Improved Player” in 2012 and “Most Valuable Player” in 2013. “[Eccles] talked to me about being calmer [during team competitions].”

His hard work and dedication, which were present last season, helped the rest of the players with their game as well. “He is a team leader and pushed his teammates with his work ethic, raising their playing level,” said Eccles. “He showed them that this is how hard you have to work to get where you want to go.”

Knight has accepted a four-year golf scholarship to Missouri Western University where he will continue his education and focus on his aspiration of becoming a professional golfer.