April 19, 2003
The late Cleveland Fire Chief Pete Corrigan, an avid golfer, saved lives during the week and pars on weekends. His grandson, CSU senior golfer P.J. Myers, is grateful to be part of his family's legacies of golf and service.
"He's my hero," said Myers. "I learned a lot from him-about golf and about life. He pushed me towards golf and we had some great walks-and great talks-on the golf course." Myers is also inspired by his grandfather's example of determination and community service. "He served in World War II and put himself through both college and medical school. He also believed in giving something back to the community, including starting a foundation to help find a cure for diabetes."
Corrigan's legacy of golf and community service was not lost on his daughter-P.J.'s mother-Kate. Myers said that his mother, a former winner of the Cleveland Woman's Amateur Golf Championship, is "probably the best golfer in the family. She is certainly the most talented." Like her father, she too is community-spirited. "She's such a great person," Myers said. "She does volunteer work for the Christ Child Society and at St. Malachi's. And she does even more that goes unnoticed."
Kate's husband, James, a Cleveland endocrinologist, shares her love for golf. Myers said that it was indeed his father who first put a golf club in his hands at an early age: even before he started kindergarten. Myers said his love for the links was instant. "I enjoyed the fact that it's an individual sport," he said. "I love team sports too, but the thing about individual sports is that if you win, it's because you've worked hard. It all comes down to whether or not you play well."
Myers' love for golf has grown with age. At Cleveland's St. Ignatius High School, Myers lettered four times in golf, and as a senior was team captain and MVP, holding the school record with a low round of 34. While he had many college choices to consider in furthering his golf career, a chance meeting charted Myers' destination.
The Westlake, OH native recalls meeting CSU golf coach Tom Porten on the links. "Coach Porten was actually working at the course where I played," Myers said. "In fact, it was his first summer at that particular course. I found him to be a good teacher, a good guy and a good friend." That was enough for Myers to decide to join Porten's Viking golf squad, and he has absolutely no regrets. "When you get into college athletics, coaches can be a bit impersonal, but Coach Porten gets to know his players as people. I don't think you could find a better coach."
Under Porten's tutelage, he has improved his game steadily as a Viking. As a freshman at CSU, Myers played in 10 tournaments and averaged 79.5 with a low round of 73. In the fall of his sophomore year, Myers played in seven tournaments and averaged a 76.6. As a junior, he helped CSU to a team first-place finish at the Eastern Kentucky Invitational and carded a then-career low of 69 at the Ball State Invitational.
Myers started his senior campaign last fall with a bang when he shot a new career-low round of 68 at the John Piper Invitational hosted by Bowling Green State University. Earlier this month, Myers was named the Horizon League Men's Golf "Athlete of the Week." The honor was the result of his outstanding performance at the Liberty Spring Classic hosted by Liberty University at Waters Edge Country Club in Penhook, Va. Myers carded a 75-74-149, good for a second-place tie in the tournament, leading the Vikings to a third place team finish.
In spite of his recent success, Myers points to his play representing CSU in conference championships as the highlight of his college career. "The best experience was at St. John's in Bethpage my freshman year. The U.S. Open has been held on that course, and that was really great."
While Myers reflects on memories of his late grandfather for inspiration, he also has a contemporary source: his roommate and high school friend Tom Arth, quarterback at nearby John Carroll University. Arth, who set John Carroll career records in pass attempts and completions, plans to enter the NFL draft this year. "Just seeing how hard he works is not only fun to watch, but it makes me work harder, too," he said.
Myers has been inspired to improve his game, but he has also carried on his family's tradition of determination and community service as a member of both the Cleveland State Dean's List and Student-Athlete Advisory Board. Like Arth, Myers hopes to have a pro career in his sport after graduating with his marketing degree next fall. But not before a strong finish to his senior season, starting with the Cleveland Energy Resources Cleveland State Invitational at Red Tail on April 21 and 22.