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Alumni Highlights: Matt McCarty

By August 1, 2021May 1st, 2023No Comments

From The Valley of the Sun to Silicon Valley, in 2016 Matt McCarty enrolled at Santa Clara University, an institution of higher learning with self-stated goal “to help shape the next generation of leaders and global thinkers.” Sound familiar? It bears an uncanny resemblance to the JGAA’s mission “to educate, motivate, and inspire Arizona’s future leaders through golf.”

Beginning in 2008, McCarty jumped into competitive JGAA golf with both feet in the Boys 10 & Under division. By the time he brushed in the last putt in his final JGAA tournament in 2016, he logged 63 starts across all five age divisions.

McCarty broke through with his first JGAA victory in 2011 at the Junior/Parent Scramble and defended his title in the Boys 13-14 division the following year. His next win came early in the 2014 season at the New Year’s Shootout in the Boys 15-18 division where he won in a playoff. This triggered a move to the Boys Championship division. It only took eight more starts to earn another win, this time, at the Arizona Junior Match Play Championship.

In addition to the wins, McCarty always seemed to be on the front page of the leaderboard. In fact, he managed to make the top-10 in 38 of the 63 tournaments entered, an impressive 60-percent clip.

At the 2015 Arizona Boys Division I High School Golf Championship, McCarty led Desert Mountain to the team title, and nearly took individual honors as well. Instead, on the third hole of a four-way playoff, Trueman Park ended it with an eagle chip-in.

“Matt was always prepared to play,” said Scott McNevin, executive director, JGAA. “His consistent dedication was no doubt a big factor in moving on to college golf at Santa Clara.”

Once he landed as a freshman, McCarty went to work competing in nine events with his best finish, T3, at the PING Cougar Classic thanks to a season-low 67. As a sophomore, he played in all 12 events, earning All-WCC honors along with a win at The Farms Invitational at 4-under par. In his junior year, McCarty competed in all 11 events, posted eight top-20 finishes (including 5 top-10s) and carried the Bronco’s lowest scoring average at 71.26. As a senior (2019-20), McCarty put up top-10 showings in three of four tournaments, two as the low Bronco in the field.

Now a graduate of Santa Clara, he continued to prosper and made it to the big stage where he turned professional. In 2021, McCarty made his debut on the PGA TOUR Canada circuit. Notable accolades include his first win as a professional golfer at the Wyoming Open in his opening season and qualifying for the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Oklahoma through regional qualifying. The former Bronco currently competes on the Korn Ferry Tour after spending the 2021 season on PGA Tour Canada. This season, McCarty already has two top-10 showings on the Korn Ferry Tour and has four total top-10 results since joining in 2022.