The Prospector

Corner finds growth in a life dedicated to golf

Senior+Charles+Corner+will+go+down+in+UTEP+men%E2%80%99s+golf+history+as+one+of+the+most+consistent+players+to+play+within+the+program.+
Senior Charles Corner will go down in UTEP men’s golf history as one of the most consistent players to play within the program.

Senior Charles Corner will go down in UTEP men’s golf history as one of the most consistent players to play within the program.

Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics

Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics

Senior Charles Corner will go down in UTEP men’s golf history as one of the most consistent players to play within the program.

Jeremy Carranco, Sports Editor

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From the moment he picked up a club at the age of 7, Charles Corner made the game of golf his life staple.

“I got a golf club from my dad on my 7th birthday and I just started swinging it around my yard,” Corner said. “That eventually turned into me playing with him when he went out on the course and from there I started to play in tournaments.”

Hailing from Canada in the town of Cayuga, Ontario, Corner looked to future and current professional golfers to help shape the way he wanted to play.

“Growing up, I liked a lot of the younger guys coming out of college, like Rickey Fowler, Jordan Speith, Justin Thomas, that new wave of different golfers that had a different approach to the game” he said. “Obviously, Tiger Woods was a golf icon when I was growing up, so I liked him too right off the bat.”

Even though he wanted to be on the course every chance he got, the weather in Cayuga did not allow him to. He had to learn quick and adjust to cold weather conditions in order to find the right time to practice on the course. At times he had to play indoors in order to keep his body prepared.

Once he found out he was heading to UTEP to play in the southwest in 2014, Corner knew he would have more time on the course.

“I went from practicing and playing six months of the year to 12 months of the year. I was excited to finally play when I could,” he said. “That was big for me and a positive aspect in helping me get my game to the next level. Also, people here were so welcoming, so it’s been a great experience.”

Just recently wrapping up his senior year on the UTEP men’s golf team and now finalizing his bachelor’s degree in finance, Corner’s playing career as a Miner can be summed up as successful and consistent.

With two C-USA Player of the Week honors and eight top-10 finishes in four seasons, Corner’s name is not one to be forgotten when looking back at some of UTEP’s top golfers in history.

“Coming in as a freshman, Charles (Corner) had the talent, but was pretty raw and unrefined,” said UTEP head coach Scott Lieberwirth. “To see where he is now and the growth in four years, it’s just been fantastic and he’s exactly what you picture your seniors to be when they come in as freshman.”

In the classroom, the senior has been just as bright with a 3.60 GPA in finance that earned him recognition by C-USA as one of five men’s golf student-athletes named to the 2018 InTouch Credit Union All-Academic Team. As a multi C-USA Honor Roll winner and Academic Medal recipient, Corner was also named an All-Conference Second Teamer and a Golf Coaches Association of America Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar.

From his side since the beginning, senior teammate Nicklas Phil, who ended at the top of the UTEP scorecard and sixth at the C-USA championships, knows the importance Corner had for both himself and his team.

“It’s been quite the journey. Me and Charles came in together and seeing him grown over these four years has been crazy,” Phil said. “He (Corner) came in very inexperienced, but has definitely taken advantage of hard work, proving he can be the best on the team.”

Both Corner and Phil also took the ride together as finance majors.

“We’ve been roommates for four years, members of this team for four years and also went side-by-side as finance majors for four years, so we’ve gotten really close,” Phil said. “I’m going to always remember this journey and Charles is always going to be a big part of that.”

Despite a disappointing 31st individual finish at the C-USA championships to conclude his career, Corner helped his team claim the C-USA crown last year and finished at the top of the Miner scorecard in four of five spring tournaments this season. He also constructed a team-best 71.5 stroke average through 10 events with three top-five finishes and his second-place showing at the Price’s Give ‘Em Five Invitational, which lifted UTEP to the team crown.

Lieberwirth says having a player like Corner on his team through four years has made other players see him as a role model.

“Charles is always in a great mood, has personality and a sense of humor, definitely what you want from any player because it makes a job like mine easier,” Lieberwirth said. “This is what you hope seniors to be, the guys (other players) look up to him.”

Joining the team as a freshman in 2014, the Canadian product’s aim was to just get better every time he stepped on the course. Now, the senior is expected to return to the course as a graduate assistant for the UTEP coaching staff starting next season, while also balancing some professional play.

“I’m going to be returning as a graduate assistant in the fall and doing my MBA in finance, while also playing a little bit of pro golf,” Corner said. “I’m going to get a chance to give back and help push the team and help them reach more goals. I want to bring a player’s perspective to the game.”

Corner is set to graduate in May before returning to the course to help future Miner golfers find the love and passion for the game just like him.

Jeremy Carranco may be reached at the San Antonio Express-News.

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Corner finds growth in a life dedicated to golf