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The Orion

Hutchins holds it down for men’s golf team

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Match Hutchins swings to drive his golf ball down the field during practice. Photo credit: Sam Barker

The Chico State men’s golf team has found huge success and excellent play from Matt Hutchins, a first-year student from Sudbury, Massachusetts, who is proving himself to be a true competitor.

“He’s mature as a freshman. He’s got a good head,” said Alistair Docherty, senior golfer.

Hutchins began his collegiate career by placing second in the NCAA Division II preview in Denver, Colorado. Hutchins also managed to overcome the tough course of the NCAA Division II National Preview on Sept. 28, to tie for 56th.

Hutchins has already made huge contributions to his new team. With his newfound success at the collegiate level, his older senior teammates expect great things from him as a ‘Cat.

Hutchins is grateful for the opportunity to play at Chico State, and recognizes golf as his true passion. He began his golf career at the age of 12, quickly becoming an adept golfer and managing to achieve several notable accolades in high school.

His high school accomplishments include an individual fifth place finish in state championship during his senior year and helping his team at Lincoln-Sudbury High Schoo to a third place finish. Hutchins also managed to earn medalist honors at the Massachusetts High School Division I Section Championship and secured a top-10 finish at the U.S. Challenge Cup during his senior year.

Despite being far from home, Hutchins sees the men’s golf team as his second family, which has helped him acclimate to Chico. One player Hutchins pointed out as a mentor was teammate Lee Gearhart, who he believes has helped him the most.

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Matt Huthcins and Lee Gearhart taking their last swings at the Butte Creek Golf Course. Photo credit: Sam Barker

“It was difficult at first, but the team has really helped make me feel at home,” Hutchins said.

Hutchins pointed out several differences between his hometown and Chico, most notably the weather. Some of his success has been attributed to the calmer weather of Chico, which make the courses more ideal for him.

As the Interwest Insurance Wildcat Classic approaches, Hutchins practices relentlessly with his team for their first home golf tournament of the season. The tournament will take place on Oct. 5 on the ‘Cats home field at Butte Creek Country Club.

Hutchins believes he will have great success in the upcoming tournament due to his work at practice and in his previous tournaments, sticking to a strict regiment.

He also said that he plans to practice by playing a couple of games before the tournament to make sure he’s well prepared.

“He doesn’t get rattled by the small things, and he can rise to the occasion,” said Gearhart.

With a new team and new surroundings, Hutchins expects big things from his performance this year, believing himself to be capable of achieving his goal of winning a national championship with the Chico State Wildcats.

“I just try to get better every day and just have fun,” Hutchins said.

Kenta McAfee can be reached at [email protected] or @kentamcafee on Twitter.

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