Senior Corey Pereira leads the Huskies into the NCAA Regional at Aldarra Golf Club in Sammamish. The event begins Monday.
When Corey Pereira is playing his best golf, he can be scary good.
It’s why the Huskies’ senior had such high expectations, saying early in his collegiate career he aspired to be the next University of Washington player to be the top-ranked amateur in the world, joining Nick Taylor, Chris Williams and Cheng-Tsung Pan, who achieved that in the past decade.
Instead, he’ll have to settle for being one of best while enjoying one of the greatest careers in UW history. He will look to add to his accomplishments at the NCAA Regional at Aldarra Golf Club in Sammamish, which begins Monday.
Corey Pereira file
High School: Ponderosa (Shingle Springs, Calif.)
UW highlights: Four wins, tied for third most in school history. … His 21 top-10 finishes rank fifth in school history. … First-team All-Pac-12 as a sophomore and junior.
Other highlights: Won the 2014 Pacific Coast Amateur by eight shots with a score of 18-under 261 that included 62s.
“I set high goals and I didn’t always achieve those goals, but I think I reached a high level because I tried to reach to that point,” Pereira said.
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Pereira is No. 21 in the world amateur rankings. At the end of last season, he was No. 12. He has four career victories at UW, tying him for third in school history with Taylor, who is now on the PGA Tour.
Pereira usually plays his best in the biggest events, and he believes his game is in a good spot heading into the regional. If UW is one of five teams to advance, it will play in the NCAA championships at Sugar Loaf, Ill., beginning May 26.
“I do feel confident, “ he said. “I recently made a swing change and I am on the tail end of that. I’ve got a lot of confidence doing something new. I am excited where things are headed long term.”
Pereira, who will turn pro after the college season, said the change was to “release the club using more of my body and building a long-term swing that won’t break down when I might play three or four weeks in a row as a pro.”
Pereira earned conditional status on the Canadian tour last week at qualifying school, but he still has a lot to accomplish at UW. He is taking 16 credits this quarter to earn his degree in communications, and is enjoying his senior season immensely, even though it has been a season of change.
Matt Thurmond left for Arizona State in the offseason after 15 seasons as UW’s coach and was replaced by Alan Murray from Alabama-Birmingham. Thurmond was very popular with his players, and losing him was hard for Pereira and teammates.
“It was extremely tough,” Pereira said. “Every person on the team would say it was extremely tough. Matt was a great coach and I wanted to finish my career with him, but I understand Matt has to pursue his career as…