Taylor Coleman of San Antonio has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for Arizona State beginning in the fall of 2015. Coleman had narrowed her decision down to Georgia, SMU, Texas, Ole Miss and Arizona State, but also made unofficial visits to Auburn, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Coleman, 16, based her decision heavily on the coaching staff. The combined experience of head coach Melissa Luellen and assistant coach Missy Farr-Kaye was a big draw for Coleman.
“I love how their golf course and golf facilities are on campus,” Coleman said. “Everything is right here.”
Tempe is just a short flight from San Antonio or a 12-hour drive, which is close enough for Coleman. Committing to Arizona State has freed Coleman’s mind to now concentrate only on golf.
“The stress is gone,” she said. “I don’t have to worry about college anymore.”
Coleman, ranked No. 134 overall in Golfweek’s Junior Rankings, most recently finished sixth at the Golfweek West Coast Junior Invitational at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz. Before that, Coleman made headlines at the North Texas LPGA Shootout, where she shot a first-round 68 for a share of eighth at the end ...
Marisa Messana of Plantation, Fla., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Clemson when the Tigers' women's program debuts in 2014.
Messana, a junior at American Heritage, had interest from Boston College, Purdue, Michigan, TCU and Florida State.
"I chose Clemson because I loved everything about the golf program, and I was very impressed by the administrators that help the student-athletes academically and athletically,” Messana said. “I think between those people and the awesome facilities, I'm giving myself the best opportunity to reach my goals.
“I've always loved challenging myself, so I really liked the idea of starting a new program. I can't wait to start working with the girls (already on the team) and Coach (J.T.) Horton. Coach Horton is a great coach and will continue to develop all the strong players we have. I'm really excited to help make history, especially at such a strong-spirited school.”
Messana tied for sixth at the AJGA’s Innisbrook tournament in March by shooting 73-73-71. She is a Sun-Sentinel All-Broward County first-team selection. Messana also maintains a 4.89 weighted GPA.
Michaela Fletcher, of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Mississippi State in 2014.
Since Fletcher lives in South Africa, she did not make any other unofficial or officials visits. So when Mississippi State contacted her and she met the coaches, she knew that Mississippi State was the school for her.
“I feel I will be able to get along with the coaches easily and they could really help me build my game.,” Fletcher said. “I feel as though I could benefit greatly from their program and the school.”
Fletcher will graduate from Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School in December, but will not join the team until the fall of 2014.
She is currently ranked sixth on the ladies order of merit in South Africa. Fletcher is also the South African Girls’ champion. She has both represented her country and province on multiple occasions.
Erica Herr of New Hope, Pa., has given a verbal commitment to play golf at Wake Forest in 2014. Herr made unofficial visits to Notre Dame, Northwestern, Illinois, Boston College and LSU and had made plans to visit Clemson, Texas and Penn State.
Herr calls attending Wake Forest and playing for Coach Dianne Dailey a lifelong dream. She began visiting Wake with her brother after junior golf trips to the Carolinas at an early age. On one such trip she met Dailey and has stayed in touch ever since.
“It's all I have ever known and all I have worked for,” Herr said. “I respect the knowledge and insight that both Coach Dailey and (assistant coach Kevin) Diaz bring to the game, and I will work hard for them to be the best that I can be. I picture myself every day working hard at their tremendous facilities with my teammates.”
Herr won the AJGA at Stonewall Links and followed that up with runner-up finish at the AJGA Philadelphia Open. She had two other top-5 AJGA finishes in 2012 and has a total of 12 top-10 finishes in her AJGA career. She is a two-time defending Pennsylvania high school ...
Rinko Mitsunaga has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for Georgia in the fall of 2015. Mitsunaga took no other unofficial visits but did consider Oklahoma State, Arizona and USC.
Mitsunaga, 16, of Roswell, Ga., immediately was impressed with the Georgia campus, her future teammates and head coach Josh Brewer.
“Athens is truly a great college town, and I have always wanted to go to a big school like UGA,” she said.
Mitsunaga has qualified for the U.S. Girls’ Junior three times and has won two AJGA tournaments: the AJGA Junior at Savannah Quarters and the AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley. She also qualified for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open and finished 22nd in the Symetra Tour Classic. Mitsunaga was a semifinalist at the 2012 Women’s Trans National Amateur.
Victoria Allred of Pfafftown, N.C., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at East Carolina in 2014. She is a junior at Reagan High School.
Allred narrowed down her choices to East Carolina and Wake Forest before ultimately deciding on ECU. She also made unofficial visits to South Carolina, Virginia and Elon.
“I’m excited to have made this choice, and I just feel like it’s the best place for me,” Allred said. “I really like the coach (Kevin Williams) and the players on the team, and I love the atmosphere there.”
Allred won two major Carolina Golf Association tournaments: the Dogwood and Twin States Championship. She placed 12th in the Hank Haney IJGA Junior Open and 14th at the AJGA Junior at River Landing in 2012. Allred has a 4.0 grade-point average.
Alix Kong of West Vancouver, British Columbia, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for Indiana beginning in the fall of 2014. Kong also made unofficial visits to Washington and Illinois, and had planned to visit North Carolina State, Oregon and Arizona before making her decision.
Kong said she made an instant connection with Indiana head coach Clint Wallman and assistant coach Lauren Harling.
“I loved everything about IU, from the gorgeous campus, the amazing facilities, the highly ranked Kelley Business School and the Spirit of Indiana approach to athletes," Kong said. "I am so excited to be a Hoosier and part of a great team where I hope to be able to make a difference."
Kong has been the captain of the Collingwood High School senior golf team for the past two seasons, and has played on the team since seventh grade. She was fifth at the 2011 Arizona Silver Belle, and has played on two Junior America’s Cup teams. She has three top-10 finishes in AJGA events.
Nicole Morales of South Salem, N.Y., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for Alabama, the defending national champion. Morales had narrowed her decision to Georgia, North Carolina, Vanderbilt and Alabama.
Morales, who is Golfweek's third-ranked player in the Class of 2014, drew a bevy of college coaches during the summer’s top junior events. She delivered a tough match against World No. 1 amateur Lydia Ko in the third round of match play at the U.S. Junior before falling, 3 and 2. Morales played for the East team at the Wyndham Cup, and won the 2011 Polo Golf Junior Classic, the only match-play event on the AJGA schedule.
Morales said her decision ultimately came down to the coaching staff. She’s excited to play for Alabama head coach Mic Potter.
“He reminds me of my dad, who is very soft spoken,” she said. “I think I would improve my game under his guidance.”
Morales also was sold on Alabama’s practice facilities and the academic opportunities.
Morales is the incoming player representative to the AJGA Board of Directors, and was a first-team Rolex All-American for 2012.
Emily Gilbreth of Bellaire, Texas, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at the University of Houston in 2013. She will be part of the newly established UH Women’s Golf Team.
She will compete as an individual at tournaments during the 2013-14 season, and then the team will debut during the 2014-15 campaign.
"I’m excited to be part of a new program," said Gilbreth. "Actually, I never thought I would have a chance to play college golf in my hometown of Houston, and out of the nowhere UH decides to start a golf team.”
“I picked UH because of their outstanding golf facilities, amazing support staff, and coaches with the ability to build a winning program," said Gilbreth.
Gilbreth won numerous high school, local and regional events, including the 2012 Texas High School 5A Region III Championship, the 2012 IJGT Dupage Classic, and the 2011 Golfweek Ranked TJGT/HGA “Major” at Redstone.
Bailey Tardy has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for Georgia. The Norcross, Ga., native also made unofficial visits to Clemson and Ole Miss before making her decision.
Tardy calls attending Georgia a lifelong dream. When she was younger, she imagined she’d play soccer for the Bulldogs. Then, as an 11-year-old, she picked up golf.
“I would have never guessed that four years later I would have the opportunity to play golf at my dream school,” Tardy said. “I loved everything about Georgia - the new coaches, the teammates, the amazing facilities, the academics and the awesome campus. It’s close to my house, which is a big plus, and my grandmother lives in Athens. Coach (Josh) Brewer has big plans for the UGA program, and I am excited to be a part of it.”
Tardy led her high school, Greater Atlanta Christian School, to the 2012 Georgia AA State Championship as she won the individual title. She also won two AJGA titles in the past year: the Junior at River Landing and Junior All-Star Ocala.
Emily Campbell of Carrollton, Texas, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Texas A&M in 2015.
Campbell attends Spring Creek Academy in Plano, Texas, but also lives part-time in Fort Worth, at the Jim McLean Junior Academy.
She made other unofficial visits to LSU, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Oklahoma State, in addition to visiting Texas A&M several times during the past two years.
“Texas A&M will offer me the perfect combination of academics, a collegiate environment and golf environment,” Campbell said. “I just feel like I am home when I’m at A&M. I love the campus, the traditions and the golf facilities.”
In 2012, Campbell had four top-10 AJGA finishes. Her best AJGA finish was a solo third place at the Webb Simpson Junior Championship. She was the runner-up at the Golfweek West Coast Invitational, and also has won numerous times on the Texas Junior Golf Tour.
Roberta Liti has verbally committed to Arizona State for the fall of 2014. Liti, a native of Siena, Italy, made no official visit to any other school.
Liti will graduate from Liceo Scientifico Alezzsandro. She is excited to play at Arizona State because of a recommendation from Giulia Molinaro, a friend and former Sun Devils player.
“Arizona State has an amazing golf program and history of the school is unbelievable,” Liti said. “I really like the coaches and all the my future teammates, too.”
In 2012, Liti finished fourth at the European Team Championship. She competed in the recent Women’s World Amateur Team Championship for Italy and finished in a tie for 61st. She also won the under-18 Italian championships.
Lauren Stephenson of Lexington, S.C., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Clemson. Stephenson, Golfweek's No. 12-ranked junior golfer in the Class of 2015, attends Lexington High School and made other unofficial visits to Georgia and Tennessee.
“When I visited Clemson, I fell in love with the campus, facilities and coach J.T. Horton," Stephenson said. "I really liked how the golf facilities are on campus and everything is so close, making it easier to get to practice. I am also excited about the players that are already committed. I think Coach Horton is putting together a championship team, and I am looking forward to being a part of it."
Clemson's women's program will debut in the fall of 2013.
“I am excited about making history at Clemson as part of a brand new program," Stephenson said. "We will set records that the players who come after us will try to break.”
Stephenson won the 2012 AJGA Golf Pride Junior Classic, and added third-place finishes at the AJGA Girls Championship and the AJGA Hank Haney IJGA Junior Open. She was featured in the Dec. 12 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine's "Faces in ...
Maty Monzingo has given a verbal commitment to play for Texas State in the fall of 2013. Monzingo is a senior at Byron Nelson High School in Trophy Club, Texas.
Monzingo also took unofficial visits to SMU, Texas A&M, Stephen F. Austin and Oklahoma, but decided on Texas State because it felt like a good fit. She said she fell in love with the campus, location and the weather, and is excited to play for head coach Mike Akers.
“He is really upbeat, a great recruiter, and is a neat guy,” Monzingo said. “He is intense, success-driven and passionate about having Texas State be the top-ranked team in the country.”
Monzingo recently was the low junior qualifier at the Texas Women’s Amateur. She was the runner-up at the Texas UIL 4A State High School Championship.
Katie Page, who plays for Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville, Ky., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for SMU. Page is Golfweek’s top-ranked junior girl in Kentucky. She also made unofficial visits to Kentucky, Louisville, Illinois, Northwestern and Florida State.
Page said she chose SMU because it was a good fit academically and for golf.
“I also feel very comfortable with Coach (Jeanne) Sutherland, and I’m honored to be a part of the team she is building at SMU,” Page said. “With her knowledge and passion for the game, SMU’s top-notch facilities, and the great weather in Dallas, I believe I’ll have all of the resources I need to be successful on and off the course.”
Page helped lead her high school team to the 2011 Kentucky State Championship. She was second at the North & South Junior earlier this summer and fifth at the Bubba Conlee. Page also had two top-10 finishes this year in AJGA events, and four last year.