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Hart makes recruiting strides for MCC

By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
June 12, 2002
Following a sixth-place finish at the National Tournament last month, Meridian Community College head golf coach Lou Hart made a quick but effective recruiting session with three signings on Tuesday here at the Damon Fitness Center.
Hart signed Midland Community College transfer Mac Lee, Matthew Shoemaker of Petal and Matt Smith of West Lauderdale High School.
Smith and Lee are coming off respectable showings at last week's State-Amateur at Canebrake.
Smith said his State Am experience was a good one, even though, he just barely missed the cut.
Smith said he is looking forward to continuing his golfing career and education at MCC.
Smith won medalist titles in tournaments at Lakeview and Philadelphia Country Club. His favorite course is Dancing Rabbit at Silver Star Hotel &Casino. He had a 76-stroke average for his 2002 prep season.
Lee was one of the top juniors in Mississippi in 2001. He won six Gulf States Junior Championships and was named the Junior Player of the Year for 2000 and 2001.
He originally started playing in Columbus but then transferred to Northwest Rankin. He signed out of high school with Midland CC and played his freshman season on a team that finished eighth in the nation in the Division I National Junior College Tournament.
Lee said he was glad to be coming back to Mississippi. He says the return should help the mental part of his game.
My season starts right now. What I need to do is get my mental game back to where it was. It kind of fell down," Lee said. "Overall, Midland was a good experience," Lee said. "But the wind out there can make it tough, especially mentally. " Lee said he doesn't want to be thought of as MCC's ace recruit.
Lee did have a good showing at the State Am, he made the cut and got to play all four rounds.
Shoemaker was one of Petal's top guns off of its 2001 State 4A Championship team. The Panthers finished second in 4A this year.
Shoemaker got a chance to test Northwood on a bad day this past April.
His teammate in Shea McGee won the medalist honor that day beating out Lamar School's Winston Powell and J.T. Williamson.
Shoemaker had a 74.4 scoring average over 18 holes this spring. He has a packed summer schedule. He will play in the Future Masters in Dothan, Ala., along with the AGA Compaq Tournament in New Orleans. He is also looking to qualify for the US Amateur and US Public Links Tournaments.