July 16, 2014

JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Former John A. Logan College golfer, Matt Southgate, will compete this week in the British Open hosted by the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in the small town of Hoylake, which is near Liverpool, England.

The 25-year-old Southgate is a native of Essex County, England and was a member of the Volunteers in 2007. He played behind William Bremner and Max Bush.

Logan head coach Tom Ferris said Southgate was “a good player” who was only with the team for a short time.

“Matt was just with us for the fall semester of his freshman year,” Ferris said. “He didn’t come back after the Christmas holiday break. He got homesick and was missing his family and girlfriend too much, so he stayed in England and eventually qualified for the European Tour.”

Ferris, who is vacationing in England with his wife, Kay, said he hasn’t yet had a chance to visit with Southgate as the latter was preparing for this week’s major. He hopes to see him before returning to the U.S.

Southgate claimed the biggest victory of his young career when competing as an amateur in 2010, winning the prestigious St. Andrew’s Link Trophy. He carded a closing round of 67 for a four-round total of 275 or 13 under par.

“It’s pretty amazing for a junior college like Logan to have two former players of ours (Brian Norman, Class of ’03, is the other) competing this summer in two of the world’s most important golf tournaments,” Ferris said. “I couldn’t be happier for them.”

Norman, a golf pro in Texas, who previously worked at Crab Orchard Golf Course in Carterville, recently qualified for the PGA Championship to be held next month in Louisville, Ky.

It’s been a pretty special calendar year to date for former John A. Logan College athletes.

Last spring, infielder Dean Anna (Class of ’07) played well enough in Spring Training to briefly earn a spot with the New York Yankees and delivered a home run against the Boston Red Sox before being demoted to the Class AAA ranks. He has since been dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Late last month, Norman tied for 16th at a qualifying tournament for club pros, which earned him a spot in next month’s PGA Championship.

Former Vols’ standout, Marcelo Rozo (Class of ‘10), who helped to lead Logan to its first national team golf championship in 2009 and followed up with an individual title a year later, is now the No. 1-ranked player on the Latin-American Tour and is among the top 400 players in the world.

Basketball sensation, Lazeric Jones (Class of ’10), competed last weekend and Tuesday of this week in an NBA summer tournament as a member of the Chicago Bulls, averaging 10 points and 4 assists from his point guard position.

And now, with Southgate competing this week at the British Open, JALC Athletic Director Jerry Halstead said it’s a proud moment in time for the college.

“When you look at the success that all five of these athletes had here at Logan, I guess it’s not a huge surprise to me that they have made it to the top of their profession,” he said. “You could tell right away when they were here that they were outstanding athletes and individuals. I just hope that we played some small part in their development as athletes and young men, whether it was in the classroom, through coaching, or social interaction. We wish them all continued success.”