Nov. 29, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head coach Pat Goss announced today (Nov. 29) the signing of a trio of future Wildcats to National Letters of Intent. Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield), Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont) and Scott Smith (Pepper Pike, Ohio/University School) will matriculate to Evanston in the fall of 2011.
"I am very excited about the signing of Bennett Lavin, Matthew Negri and Scott Smith to be Wildcats next fall," Goss said. "They all believe in what Northwestern Golf represents athletically and academically, and I am confident they will leave Northwestern as a successful recruiting class. They are all very excited to become Wildcats. All three are solid players who have experienced success, but, more importantly, I believe all three of them have the opportunity to grow and improve as players. I see tremendous upside in this group."
Lavin was a winner this summer on the AJGA circuit and finished third at the 2010 Illinois Open while advancing to the U.S. Open's sectional qualifying round. He has finished in the top-10 in the state high school tournament three times.
"Bennett is an overall very solid player who has continually improved," Goss said. "I was very impressed by his play at the Illinois Open where he played with Eric Chun the final day, shooting 66. To finish third at your state open and one shot from being low amateur is strong evidence that you can play a level up from junior golf. Bennett comes from a good golf background and has done all of the right things to continue improving. Bennett will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact on our team."
Negri is coming off a strong finish to his 2010 summer season, compiling a stroke average of 70.6 and shooting 70 or better in nine of his final 15 rounds. He has medaled in 34 of his 44 high school events during his career.
I was very impressed with the finish Matthew had to his summer," Goss said. "He really improved after a slow start to the summer and showed his ability to beat the best players in California and in the country. Matt is a dedicated and committed student who also works very hard on his game."
Smith won the Class II Ohio high school state championship in 2010 before finishing fifth in the AJGA Cleveland Junior Open over the summer. He has led his high school to four top-three state team finishes, including a pair of titles.
Scott has just begun to show his potential and has a great opportunity to continually improve," Goss said. "His size and strength are a great positive and will help him tremendously at the college level. He also has a contagious attitude and personality that will add a lot to our program."
Following are complete biographies for Northwestern's incoming Class of 2015:
High School: Finished third at the 2010 Illinois Open, shooting a 66 in the final round to end up one stroke away from low amateur status ... Won the 2010 American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Apawamis tournament ... Advanced to the 2010 U.S. Open sectional qualifying round ... Holds all of Deerfield High School's golf records, including best 18-hole average (70.1), best nine-hole average (34.0) and low nine-hole match score (5-under 31) ... Has finished in the top-10 in the state in all of his high school seasons, earning three all-state honors ... Was 10th in the state in 2008, second in 2009 and third in 2010 ... All-conference and team MVP every season ... Pioneer Press All-Lake Shore in 2008 and 2010 ... Honor roll member ever semester of high school.
Personal: Born Bennett Jordan Lavin ... Son of Ron and Lisa Lavin ... Sister, Jamie, plays golf at Penn State ... Played baseball, hockey and golf growing up, winning the state title in Pee Wee hockey at the AA level ... Anticipated major is economics.
El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont
High School: During the summer of 2010, played his final five tournaments with a stroke average of 70.6, shooting 70 or better in nine of 15 rounds ... Has been the medalist in 34 of 44 high school events ... Grossmont Hills All-League first team in 2008, 2009 and 2010 while earning All-CIF San Diego Section first team in 2009 and 2010 ... HP Scholastic All-America Team in 2010 ... Qualified for the CIF in all of his high school seasons ... Lead high school to CIF in 2008 and to the league title in 2009 ... Currently ranked second in his class of 560 ... AP Scholar ... Honor roll in all years of high school.
Personal: Born Matthew Gihun Negri ... Song of Mark and Young Negri ... Chose Northwestern over Yale and Illinois ... Anticipated major is economics.
Pepper Pike, Ohio/University School
High School: Finished fifth at the 2010 AJGA Cleveland Junior Open at Red Tail Country Club ... Two-time first-team All-State honoree and one second-team All-State selection ... Won the Ohio high school Class II championship in 2010 ... Took fourth in the state in 2008, seventh in 2009 and 14th in 2007 ... Led his team to four top-three finishes in the state, including a pair of state titles ... Four-time News Herald All-State and three-time Cleveland Plain Dealer and district All-Star ... Lowered his season stroke average by two shots every year, going from 78 in 2007 to 72 in 2010 ... Achieved honor roll status in 2008 and 2009, earning school commendation in 2010.
Personal: Born Scott Clifford Smith ... Son of Scott and Lorie Smith ... A consummate sportsman, also enjoys fly fishing, hunting, skiing, basketball, baseball and football ... Chose Northwestern over Purdue, Colgate, Miami (Ohio) and Ohio State ... Plans to major in economics.