The Orion

Wildcats sign high-profile golfer

Julie Ortega

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Chico State men's golf team recruit Matt Hutchins takes a swing during a tournament. Hutchins comes from Massachusetts and was twice named for All-Scholastics teams by the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. Photo courtesy of Matt Hutchins.

Coming from the East Coast, high school senior Matt Hutchins has signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Chico State men’s golf team for fall of 2015.

“I’m looking forward to playing golf with the team and getting to know them as well as other people at Chico,” Hutchins said.

He became interested in the school because of Chico State’s competitive Division II team, Hutchins said.

He has been playing golf for six years and is currently attending Lincoln-Sudbury High School in Massachusetts.

The only challenges he might face involve transitioning to life on the West Coast and school population, he said.

Hutchins key stats are:

  • United States Golf Association handicap: +0.8

  • Low competitive round: 68

  • 2014 tournament scoring average: 74

Brown has been watching Hutchins perform for two years and was impressed after the senior improved within a year by four shots a round, he said.

“Matt showed the ability to play well — not just close to home but throughout the nation,” Brown said.

In 2014, Hutchins won the New England Junior Amateur Invitational with Team Massachusetts. So far, it has been one of his greatest accomplishments, he said.

Hutchins finished sixth in the Massachusetts Division I State High School Golf Championship in 2014. He was also named twice by the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald for All-Scholastics teams in 2013 and 2014.

Before competitions, Hutchins prepares by playing a practice round to get a feel of the course, followed by a specific routine for the day. It helps him get ready to play, he said.

“I think coach Brown recruited me because of my consistency in tournaments and my improvement from last year to this year,” Hutchins said. “I think he saw that (I) improved a lot over the two-year span.”

During Hutchins’ official visit to Chico State, he got a chance to meet some of the players on the team, which made him want to join the team even more, he said.

Hutchins thinks the team has great golfers who will challenge him to become a better player, and he hopes to do the same for others, he said.

“If a young man shows dedication to the team and then shows the ability to play his way into position, we want him here in Chico,” Brown said.

One of Brown’s goals is for Hutchins to first adjust to the big move away from family and friends. Chico State’s golf team will be his family away from home, Brown said.

“We can’t wait to get him here next fall,” he said. “I expect him to hit the ground running.”

Julie Ortega can be reached at [email protected] or @julieOrtega_ on Twitter.

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Wildcats sign high-profile golfer