Frontier’s Mikey Corduff, Gunnar Moore pushing each other for improvement

  • Frontier’s Mikey Corduff hits an approach on the first hole at the Country Club of Greenfield earlier this month while teammate Gunnar Moore, left, watches. The duo led the Red Hawks to an undefeated season as the top two players on the roster. Staff FILE Photo/Paul Franz

Recorder Intern
Published: 10/28/2020 3:20:20 PM

Mikey Corduff and Gunnar Moore have played golf together for nearly three years. Corduff is a senior at Frontier Regional School, Moore is a freshman. When they step onto the course however, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between them.

Moore and Corduff are both very passionate about golf, and that has led to quite a competition between the two each day at practice.

“Every day, we have a match with each other,” said Corduff. “We usually talk a little trash.”

Before the season started, it got very competitive between the two as Moore was vying for one of the top spots on the deep and talented Red Hawks roster.

“Right before matches started, I know Gunnar really wanted to take the (No. 1) spot,” said Corduff. “We would go at it in practice. Most of the time, we shot within one (stroke) of each other.”

Due to their competitive nature, Frontier head coach Bill Fitzpatrick said he pairs the two together at practice. Fitzpatrick feels the pairing helps improve their games.

Frontier recently played against Mohawk Trail in a match held at Edge Hill Golf Course in Ashfield. Corduff shot 36 and Moore wasn’t far behind with a round of 39. The Frontier coach was quite impressed with the scores.

“The conditions up at Edge Hill Golf Course were cold,” said the sixth-year coach. “Winds were blowing at about 40 miles per hour and all of them were in shorts for this, so those were amazing scores.”

Though both golfers played well against Mohawk Trail, Fitzpatrick was impressed by Moore’s dedication to sticking with his round down the stretch. He’s ability to go low late led to a qualification in the Western Mass. Invitational Tournament — an event he would later win as the Division 2 champion.

“We got up to the sixth tee at Mohawk and [Moore] was four-over-par,” said Fitzpatrick. “He said, ‘I got to play one-under-par the rest of the way’ and I’ll be damned he did. He brought his score down to a 39 and (he got into the tournament).”

Though Moore is constantly competing with Corduff on the links, the 14 year-old said he has a lot of respect for his senior teammate.

“We make sure that we don’t get competitive with each other when someone is having a bad day on the course,” the freshman said. “We try to stay friendly and just play together, rather than compete.”

Corduff and Moore spend time playing together in the offseason at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. Moore said he’s learned some things from playing with his teammate.

“He’s really helped me understand that there is more to life than just golf,” he said with a laugh. “There’s no need to get all worked up or even mad about hitting a bad shot. You’re still gonna play the rest of the holes and nothing is really going to happen.”

Due to the pandemic, both the Western Mass. and MIAA State Championships were canceled this fall. Frontier played a regular-season schedule against local competition to avoid traveling, and the program went undefeated in its slew of matches.

With no championships this year, Corduff said he was disappointed because the big tournaments were among his favorite parts about the golf season.

“It stinks,” Corduff admitted. “To be fair, though, I’m just happy that we had a season and I get to play because for a while, it looked like we were not going to have a season at all.”

The pandemic has slowed down all facets of normal life. While playing golf has helped him return to some normalcy, Corduff said he finds that having a routine has helped keep his spirits up.

“It’s definitely difficult not to become lazy,” he said with a laugh. “I find that staying on top of my work has helped. Another key thing is that even when I don’t have to get up early, I still set an alarm so that my body still wakes up at the same time.”

Corduff plans to play golf in college. While not playing in big high school tournaments has been frustrating in terms of recruiting, he is still hopeful that he’ll be able to make a name for himself this fall.

“If anybody was interested, they can look at my scores from last year’s championships and this year so far,” he replied. “There’s not really much I can do about it.”

While it may have been an unconventional fall season, both Corduff and Moore made the best of it. And the Frontier golf program, with the duo leading the way, continued to shine brightly.

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