Troy Record: Saint Rose's Horton Vying for Spot in National Finals
For Immediate Release
May 8, 2012
Courtesy of the Troy Record, Written by Andrew Santillo
Troy, N.Y. — Matt
Horton has been down this road before.
In fact, The College of Saint Rose senior knows nothing but reaching the NCAA Division II Golf Championships.
“Number four,” Horton said.
The Troy native and Hoosic Valley graduate is the first person in Saint Rose’s history to punch a ticket to the NCAAs in all four years.
Horton tees off this afternoon at Hershey Country Club’s
East Course, in the Atlantic/East Regional, being held in Hershey,
Horton is one of just 108 student-athletes who will play for a spot in the NCAA finals.
That’s something that has alluded Horton the past three years.
“I just want to advance to nationals,” he said. “That’s my goal. Whatever need be, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Horton finished 95th last year, but he posted the lowest total in school history, with a 54-hole total of 235, as a sophomore. That put him in a tie for a 37th place finish.
His freshman year, he finished 73rd.
Horton knows that it takes everything you have to compete at
“You can’t lose focus,” he said. “If you have a bad hole, just move on, forget about it. You just have to stay mentally focused 100 percent of the time.”
Horton feels like he’s playing his best golf right now and that should help him this week.
“The way I’ve been playing lately, my mental focus is a lot better now and just the experience, I think, is going to help me advance to nationals,” he said.
Horton played baseball, basketball and soccer growing up. He was part of the Hoosic Valley basketball team which captured a Section II title in 2008, but golf just clicked.
He earned all-state honors in 2008, and the game has just come naturally.
“All of the support and a little push from my parents really helped me become the golfer I am today,” Horton said.
Horton is one of just three players in school history to reach the NCAAs more than once in his career, joining former teammate Jamie Bacon (’09) and Bob Cain (’05).
Horton has grown close with his teammates, sharing their passion for the sport along the way.
“I think it’s been a great experience,” he said of playing at Saint Rose.
While Horton is focused entirely on the upcoming tournament, he
knows that his college career is nearly over.
He plans on playing as an amateur this summer and then possibly trying his hand as a professional.
“I don’t want to look back, 10 years from now, and regret not giving it a shot,” he said.
Horton received first team Northeast-10 Conference all-league honors for the fourth year in a row. He finished eighth overall at the conference championships and carded a career-low, 69, at the Dominican College Charger Challenger.
“It was a great year overall,” Horton said.
He’s looking to end it off with a bang.