SIOUX CITY – Defending champion Corey Matthey is tied for the lead after the opening round of the Rick Collins Toyota Scion Men’s City Championship Saturday at Green Valley Golf Club.
Matthey and Colin Mitchell each fired a 5-under-par 67 and are two clear of Cody Holck – like Matthey a Morningside College player – who carded 69.
There are five more players within five shots of the lead heading into Sunday when the entire field plays 18 holes before the top third of the championship flight go an addition nine.
Matt Collins is alone in fourth place after a 2-under 70, while past Men’s City champion Will Andersen of Dakota City was the only other player to break par with 71.
Interestingly, Collins is the son of tournament sponsor Rick Collins and is also employed at the Sioux City auto dealership.
Torben Boeger and Tony Ginger each matched par with 72. Boeger is an incoming Morningside College freshman from Germany who just arrived in the United States. Sioux City resident Ginger is a past Green Valley club champion.
Matthey, who resides in Sergeant Bluff, took over the Sioux City Journal Siouxland Player of the Year points lead with a victory in the Whispering Creek Invitational a couple of weeks ago. The talented Morningside junior-to-be has been Player of the Year each of the last two years and is looking to repeat as city champion, which is a rare feat indeed.
He shot 34-33 for his 67 on Saturday. Matthey, Mitchell and Holck will play in the final group Sunday at 10 a.m. with the final nine slated for approximately 1:30 p.m.
“I played solid but didn’t hit any stellar shots, just a few birdies and the rest pars,” Matthey said. “I hit a lot of fairways and greens but didn’t have any kick in birdies. I just took advantage of the back nine par 5s and holed a few putts from around 10 feet.”
Mitchell shot 31 on his opening nine holes and that could have been better had his approach shot gone in instead of rattling off the flagstick.
Another tight race is shaping up in the Senior Division after Mark Albert shot 72 for a one-shot lead over Jeff Donaldson, Bill Mathers and Sam Prue. Jim Tritz is another shot back at 74 while three more players carded 75. In fact, just four shots separate the entire Senior championship flight.
Donaldson, Mathers and Prue, by the way, hold down the top three spots in the Senior Player of the Year point standings.
Green Valley is normally set up to play a bit tougher for the City than it does for the River-Cade, but tournament director Scott Harmelink said the greens were very receptive and play was excellent under near perfect weather conditions.