I had the pleasure of walking a few holes with Corey Nagy the other day for our "Catching up with Corey Nagy" video. And Ron Green, Jr. of the Charlotte Observer did a large article on him over the weekend to prep for the US Amateur he is competing in this week. Both illustrated some of the reasons for Nagy's standout career.
I'm not saying the Corey Nagy will win the US Amateur. It's a grueling test. 312 of the nation's top amateurs competing. To emerge as the one victor is incredible. Only the top 64 from stroke play advance to head-to-head match play brackets. Just making the top 64 is an achievement considering the size and quality of the field.
What I am saying is that Corey Nagy could win it. He's no long shot. He'd be among the list of favorites. He has the physical, mental and emotional game necessary to excel in golf.
He's now a senior for the Charlotte 49ers. He's a three-time honorable mention all-America. As a freshman he was named to the five-man freshman all-America team. In three Atlantic 10 tournaments he has finished 3rd, 2nd and 1st. At the all-America Classic, an elite, invitation-only, individual tournament that he has been invited to the last two years -- he has won both the long drive and the putting contests.
I guess you could equate that to winning both the slam dunk and three-point shooting contests at the NCAA Final Four.
What I am trying to say here is that Corey Nagy is a complete golfer. In baseball, he'd be a five-tool prospect. In basketball, he'd be a lottery pick.
He will leave behind an impressive legacy that follows in the footsteps of Ray Sheedy and Matt Mincer, of Jonas Enander Hedin, Andrew DiBitetto and Trevor Murphy, of Stefan Weidergruen. Impressive golfers, all -- but it's Nagy that holds the 49ers career record for stroke average.
Whether or not he emerges as the top player at the 2009 US Amateur remains to be seen. But the fact that he could ... the fact the he has a legitimate chance to grab that trophy ... the fact that his is one of the names on the leaderboard others are wary of -- that's special.
We have just one more year to enjoy his play for the 49ers. Keep close tabs. After watching him play over the course of his career and hearing him say time and again how much fun he has playing golf, I can tell you he's worth it.
He should know how much fun we have watching him, now.
And how cool will it be to watch him for years to come?