Pacific Coast Amateur: Meet the 2012 NCGA Morse Cup Team
July 21, 2012
Last year the NCGA reclaimed the Morse Cup after a nine-year drought. The team of Derek Ernst, Martin Trainer and Kevin Wentworth brought back the Morse Cup to Northern California where the cup has resided in the NCGA offices for the past year. This year’s team hopes to help retain the cup and with a talented team, there’s a fair amount of optimism that the trophy won’t be changing addresses for the coming 12 months. (The Pacific Coast Amateur goes from July 24-July 27, with the Morse Cup competition occurring on July 24 and 25.)
Derek Ernst, 22, Clovis, Calif. – Ernst is the only returning player from last year’s winning Morse Cup team at the Pacific Coast Amateur. He just finished his collegiate career at UNLV where he earned honorable mention for the Ping All-America team. Additionally, he was named the MWC Player of the Year as a junior (2010-11) and a sophomore (2009-10); his sophomore year he was recognized as a third team All-American. Currently, he is the highest ranked NCGA member in the R&A’s World Golf Amateur Rankings* at No. 32. Additionally, he was the 2011 U.S. Public Links Amateur runner-up where he lost to Corbin Mills in 37 holes. In 2012 at the U.S. Public Links Amateur Championship, Ernst made it to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion T.J. Vogel.
Ben Geyer, 20, Arbuckle, Calif. – A senior-to-be at St. Mary’s College, he was named as a first-team all-WCC selection as a junior. Geyer qualified for U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying in 2012 and 2011. He also qualified for the 2011 U.S. Amateur, where he tied a competitive course record at Erin Hills, 66, to qualify for match play before losing in the round of 16. Geyer has been playing some of his best golf most recently as he finished runner-up in the 2012 California State Amateur at La Cumbre CC, lost in a playoff at the Sahalee Players’ Championship and won the NCGA Stroke Play Championship. He currently resides in first place on the NCGA Player of the Year points list and is ranked No. 56 in the R&A’s World Golf Amateur Rankings.*
Matt Hansen, 20, Los Osos, Calif. – A junior-to-be at UC-Davis, Hansen was named as the Big West Freshman of the Year at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season and also as a Ping All-America honorable mention. Also won the NCAA Regional as a freshman, winning by two strokes, becoming the first UC-Davis player to make the NCAA Championships as a Division I school. Additionally, Hansen made it to the quarterfinals of the 2012 California State Amateur before losing to Geyer in 23 holes; he also won the 2011 California State Fair Championship.
*Through July 15, 2012