Laurinburg, NC-- Growing up on the coastal town of Exmouth in Devon, England, St. Andrews University men's golfer Matt Latham began playing soccer as a kid and figured that he would be playing that sport for the rest of his life. However, Latham unfortunately broke his leg playing soccer for Exeter City at the age of 15 which made him decide to pursue golf.
Even though Latham picked up golf at a somewhat older age than most of his peers, he would gradually try to improve year by year. However, he waited two years to come to the US so he could work more on his game. The majority of his golf was played at East Devon Golf Club, which is a links layout on the Atlantic Ocean. That course got Latham used to playing in windy conditions on a tough ocean course which helped prepare him for the unpredictable weather that can occur playing in the U.S.
Latham, who has two sisters and is the middle child of Steve and Helen, decided to attend school at St. Andrews because it looked like a nice campus and because of its proximity to the world-renowned golf course at Pinehurst, which has hosted several US Opens. It was a spontaneous decision by Matt as he had never visited the school previously.
It was a good choice as Latham has now qualified for the NAIA national tournament after leading his Knights to their best golf season in a long time. Latham previously placed 2nd at the Sandhills Invitational last fall and 2nd at the Coastal Georgia Spring Invitational on February 11-12 before peaking and breaking through at the conference tournament on April 16 by crushing the field. He shot rounds of 68-70-68 to win the title by 4 strokes and promptly get the automatic qualifying spot for nationals. He finished the year with a 72.9 stroke average as well.
Latham has now been named as a 2-time most outstanding player for the SAU men's golf team. He also was named team captain for the Knights and would consistently lead the team by example in all workouts including those early morning ones in the preseason. His leadership helped win the Knights the Champions of Character Award at the conference tournament which is given to the team that shows the best sportsmanship and character for the entire season.
Latham currently holds a 3.2 cumulative GPA as a Business major with a Spanish minor and will be coming back next season to complete his last year of eligibility as a 5th year senior and will work towards achieving his MBA.
Matthew is currently practicing in Savannah, GA as he trains for nationals. His parents have also come over to the states to be with him on his journey to nationals. Latham and head coach William Carter will fly out Saturday to Salem, Oregon to begin practicing on the Creekside Golf Club national course Sunday and Monday as they prepare for the start of NAIA nationals on Tuesday May 14. Latham will tee off at 3:45 pm ET on Tuesday and then at 11:45 am ET on Wednesday in the first two rounds of the 156 man field in the NAIA national tournament.