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Bruce to swing for IUPUI

Bruce to swing for IUPUI
Bruce to swing for IUPUI
North HarrisonÂ’s Matt Bruce, shown at the Mid-Southern Conference Tournament, recently signed with IUPUI. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Sometimes being a friend of a rival isn’t so bad.
In the case of North Harrison senior Matt Bruce, a friendship on the golf course has helped land the three-time regional qualifier a spot on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis roster.
Bruce recently signed to play collegiate golf with IUPUI, receiving the lone scholarship reserved for an incoming freshman.
‘I was sitting at home one night and the coach at IUPUI called me and wanted to meet up,’ Bruce said. ‘I literally went up and saw him the next day. We talked, and he offered me a scholarship I couldn’t pass up.’
IUPUI’s coach, John Andrews, gained awareness of Bruce through current Jaguar star Ben Engle. A friend of Bruce’s, Engle played golf at Floyd Central, a rival of North Harrison’s.
‘I sent the school packets and a spot came open on the team,’ Bruce said. ‘Engle told the coach about me, so it seemed to work out pretty good.’
IUPUI practices at Wolf Run Golf Course and The Fort Golf Resort, courses that Bruce said should challenge and improve his game.
‘It has always been my dream to play Division I golf,’ Bruce said. ‘It’s nice to play with Engle, who is from Floyd and a friend of mine.’
Over the summer months, Bruce earned a spot on the Junior Masters Tour and won three Junior Tour events while participating in the Pepsi Indiana Junior Golf Program.
‘Matt’s done a very good job in the Indiana Junior program over the last two or three years,’ Andrews said. ‘He’s done a tremendous job in his high school tournaments, and I look forward to him competing for playing time next fall.’
Bruce plans to study pre-med with a focus on biology.
‘He’s also very strong academically, which is a trait I look for in potential student-athletes at the high school level,’ Andrews said.
Bruce said, during the college season, the team will qualify to see who plays in tournaments the team is slated to participate in. He said he likes the fact that whoever is playing well gets to go on the trips.
Bruce chose IUPUI over Henderson State, a Division II school in Arkadelphia, Ark.
‘I was looking at them for a while and was pretty set on going there,’ he said. ‘When I talked to IUPUI, I liked the scholarship money offered and getting a chance to stay closer to home.’
Bruce missed qualifying for the IHSAA State Tournament as a junior by one stroke, while helping North Harrison reach its first regional.
Bruce is a two-time Mid-Southern Conference champion and three-time First Team All-MSC and Team MVP selection. He’s led the Cougars in stroke average in each of his first three years entering his final campaign.
The Jaguars recently finished sixth at The Summit League Tournament and return three of the five student-athletes who played that event. In all, the IUPUI roster had just three seniors and eight underclassmen this past year.