UTEP’s Charles Corner Hopes to Leave His Mark at NCAA Championships
This weekend, UTEP men’s golf standout Charles Corner will head out to Stillwater, Oklahoma, for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships, held from May 25-30 at the Karsten Creek Golf Club (par 72/7,460).
After his performance at the NCAA Pacific Regional, where he finished third of 75 golfers, Corner will be the first Miner to head to the NCAA Championships since Chris Baryla in 2004. The 14-year drought also marked a first for head coach Scott Lieberwirth, as Corner is the first player he coached to make it to the finals.
"For one, it's been a long-term goal of mine to get to the national championships. To have accomplished that in my final year, it means the world to me. My coach hasn't been there ever with a player from this program, so it means a lot for our athletic department at UTEP and the men's golf program. We're going to get a lot of exposure at the national championship."
"This is super exciting for Charlie and myself, but it’s about Charlie," Lieberwirth said. “It's awesome for him and for our program. We're ready to go have some fun and see the competition at the top college level. It's a big stage, but once the tournament starts, it's just golf.”
The championships themselves are set up into three days of stroke play, which include 54 holes played from Friday through Sunday. Then, the final cut will include the top eight teams and the 72-hole individual competing champion.
"It's [Karsten Creek] an extremely demanding golf course, but it's also fair," Lieberwirth said. "You don't often have that. It tests every part of your game, whoever wins this event is a worthy champion."
Other teams competing include Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Illinois, Baylor, Texas Tech, Clemson, Texas, North Carolina, Brigham Young, Kansas, Stanford, Arkansas, Arizona State, UNLV, North Florida, Kentucky, UCLA, Duke, Kent State, Oregon, Northwestern, NC State, Iowa State, Central Florida and Augusta.
Corner, however, is without his team and will play in the individual qualifiers. He’s currently listed as the No. 5 seed in the field.
“Super excited, this tournament means a lot to me," he said. "The preparation is going well. I think my game is at the best it's ever been through my four years at UTEP here."
He’s set to tee off at 8:12 a.m. MT on Friday, followed by the second round, Saturday, at 1:32 p.m. MT. During the first two rounds, Corner will join Joshua McCarthy (Pepperdine) and Pontus Nyholm (Campbell).
"There's going to be all the best players from the country, so that means a lot to me to compete there and mark where I stand on the field."
The Canadian senior is a two-time Conference USA Second Team recipient and will be the only player from C-USA representing the conference at the national stage. It will be his final out as a Miner and he hopes to finish his career on a high note.
"Nothing changes at this point as far as a game plan, he has the experience and he's going to do just fine," Lieberwirth said. "We're going to go out and play a golf tournament."
Upon his final tournament, Corner hopes to play golf professionally at the next level.
"If I do well at nationals, it's only going to carry momentum for me going forward," he said.
Live stats for the NCAA Championships can be followed at www.golfstat.com and www.ncaa.com and tournament updates can also be found on the UTEP men's golf Twitter page (@UTEPminergolf).
May 25‐30 — 2018 Finals Schedule of Events (All Times Local – Central Time) Karsten Creek Golf Club, Stillwater, Oklahoma; Oklahoma State University, host.
Friday, May 25
7 a.m. First‐round of stroke play competition
Saturday, May 26
7 a.m. Second‐round of stroke play competition
Sunday, May 27
7 a.m. Third‐round of stroke play competition
Monday, May 28
3‐7 p.m. Live coverage on Golf Channel
7:10 p.m. Individual awards ceremony
7:25 p.m. Quarterfinal Match Play pairings determined
Tuesday, May 29
7 a.m. Match #1 and #2 begin (1st and 10th tees)
7:50 a.m. Match #3 and #4 begin (1st and 10th tees)
10 a.m.‐12:30 p.m. Live coverage (quarterfinals) on Golf Channel
1:30 p.m. Match #5 begins (winners of match #1 and #2)
2:20 p.m. Match #6 begins (winners of match #3 and #4)
3‐7 p.m. Live coverage (semifinals) on Golf Channel
7:30 p.m. Semifinalist awards ceremony
7:45 p.m. Championship Match Play pairings determined
Wednesday, May 30
Approx. 2:25 p.m. Championship Match begins (winner Match #5 vs. winner of Match #6)
3‐7 p.m. Live coverage on Golf Channel
Following Play Awards ceremony