Game 602 | June 25, 2002
Brad James, Gopher Golfers

Less than a year after overcoming a recommendation to abolish the Gopher golf program, first-year head coach James led the team to the NCAA title, the first northern team to accomplish that since Ohio State in 1979. Joining coach James at Dunkers were team members Matt Anderson, Justin Smith, David Morgan and Simon Nash.

GolfWeek / June 8, 2002 / by Lance Ringler
Matt Anderson once skipped his calculus class at Edina (Minn.) High School to watch the 1999 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in nearby Chaska. He dreamed of the day he could play in the event as a Golden Gopher.

The soft-spoken junior, who is majoring in finance, did much more than just play in the national championship June 1. Anderson shot a career-best, 5-under 66 to lead Minnesota to a four-shot victory.

“I felt like I had blinders on,” said Anderson, whose previous low was 69 at the Tillinghast Invitational last October.

Anderson, who did not make the team in his freshman season, walked-on as a sophomore and did not play. As a junior on a partial scholarship, he had played in 11 events prior to the NCAAs and had a scoring average of 74.7.

“He is a kid who just works and works and works,” said Minnesota interim coach Brad James. “For a kid to walk-on and shoot 66 in the final round of the national championship just shows how big his heart is.”