Mario Clemens, No. 58 in last season’s Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, will transfer from UCLA to SMU for his senior season, adding experience to a promising freshman class and helping head coach Josh Gregory improve his alma mater’s golf program.
Clemens, who is eligible to compete immediately for SMU, made eight starts for UCLA last year, though four were as an individual. He won the Snowman Getaway at Palm Valley and had five other top-25 finishes. He was 19th at the U.S. Collegiate, 23rd at the Gifford Collegiate and 27th at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, all among the strongest college events of the season. He did not compete in the postseason.
Clemens said he transferred to play for Gregory, who led Augusta State to the 2010 and 2011 NCAA titles, and be closer to his mother, Amy, who lives in Dallas. Clemens, who lived in Dallas until he was 14, also recently began working with swing instructor Cameron McCormick, who also coaches Texas sophomore Jordan Spieth, the world’s No. 2 amateur.
SMU was No. 42 in last season’s Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. Gregory, who took the SMU job after the 2011 NCAA Championship, has attracted a strong recruiting class. He signed five incoming freshmen: David Lee, the No. 1 golfer in Texas; Maxime Blandin of Florida; and California’s Ryan Burgess, Bryson Dechambeau and Austin Smotherman. Lee was a second-team AJGA All-American in 2011. Dechambeau made the Round of 32 at both the 2011 U.S. Amateur and the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links, while Smotherman beat Beau Hossler to win the 2012 California high school title. Dechambeau won the 2010 Caliornia State Junior and was runner-up to Smotherman in 2011.