Matthew Walker of Ottumwa, Iowa, has given a verbal commitment to play his college golf at nearby Iowa. Walker is ranked No. 34 in the 2015 class and the top-ranked player in the state of Iowa. He is ranked No. 112 nationally.
Walker made unofficial visits to Arizona, Texas, Iowa, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Kansas and Illinois. Iowa State had made an offer and Walker was talking about possible offers with Arizona and Illinois as well.
"Iowa just seemed like the best fit for me. I get along with the coach very well and want to help them get to number one in the nation," said Walker, who added Iowa has a great school and facilities.
Last summer Walker tied for 20th at the Junior PGA Championship and placed second in Iowa high school state championship.
Will Grimmer of Cincinnati has given a verbal commitment to play golf at Ohio State beginning in the fall of 2015.
Grimmer, 16, a junior at Mariemont High School, took 10 unofficial visits before considering offers from Ohio State, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana and Virginia Tech.
“I chose OSU because the program has everything I need to excel in college and beyond,” Will said. “The golf courses, practice facilities and resources for a student-golfer are the best I saw. I really respect Coach (Donnie) Darr and everything he is doing. Plus they play a very competitive schedule, and it is a great school academically.”
Grimmer's golf resume includes victories in the 2013 AJGA Memorial Junior at OSU's Scarlet Course and the Ohio Junior Amateur.
However, he might be best known nationally for a course-record 11-under 59 that he shot during the second round of the 2013 North & South Junior on Pinehurst No. 1 (Click here to read more on Grimmer's 59).
Patrick Martin of Hoover, Ala., has given a verbal commitment to play golf at Vanderbilt in 2015. Martin is the No. 21 class of 2015 player in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings.
The high school junior took visits to in-state schools Alabama and Auburn, along with Vanderbilt and Wake Forest before making his decision.
I chose Vanderbilt because I really like the direction in which Coach (Scott) Limbaugh has the program moving," Martin stated in an email. "He has a lot of energy, enthusiasm and high expectations for his golf program. Vanderbilt's reputation as one of the best universities in the country played an important role in my decision."
Martin was named an Honorable Mention 2013 AJGA Rolex All-American after a season in which he took medalist honors at the AJGA National Resources Partners Bluegrass Junior. He also organizes and runs a tournament that benefits the St. Vincent's Foundation in honor of his grandfather. Martin has raised more than $30,000 for the foundation over the past four years.
Katie Kim of Riverwoods, Ill., has given a verbal commitment to play golf at Boston College in 2015.
Kim, who attends Lake Forest Academy, considered Northwestern, Wisconsin, Illinois and Georgetown before committing.
"I chose Boston College because of the prestigious education I would receive and as well as being able to be a part of an amazing team," Kim stated in an email. "The coaches really believed in my potential as a college student-athelete. The golf program at BC is growing by the year, and I would love to be able to contribute to that progress."
Kim qualified for the Junior PGA Championship after winning the Junior PGA Illinois Championship in consecutive years. She also has recorded three top 10s in AJGA events and a runner-up finish at the Golfweek Midwest Junior Invitational. Kim is the No. 85 girl in the 2015 class, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings.
Nicklaus Harrington of Chaplin, Conn., has given a verbal commitment to play golf at Connecticut in 2015.
The high school junior took a few unofficial visits before making his decision.
"It is a beautiful campus, is a great academic university, and has a fantastic golf program with a great coach. I am looking forward to improving my golf game and helping UConn golf team be something special," Harrington stated in an email.
Harrington won medalist honors at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division IV state golf championship last year and was the Norwich Bulletin Golfer of the Year. He also earned All-State distinctions as a sophomore.
Jimmy Hervol of Hopkinton, Mass., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Connecticut in 2015.
Hervol, a junior at Hopkinton High School, knew that UConn was the place for him after a few unofficial visits.
"UConn is a type of school I always hoped to attend," Hervol said. "The school seemed like a perfect fit for many reasons: great academics, a strong D1 golf program, a beautiful campus, a reputable athletic program and an excellent coach. I plan to strengthen my golf game and contribute to the success of the UConn golf team."
Hervol played for New England in the 2013 Team New England vs. Team Florida match at Doral. Last summer, Hervol won the Francis Ouimet Junior Championship and qualified for the Francis Ouimet Memorial. Hervol was named MVP of the Tri-Valley League and was a member of the Metrowest Daily News Golf Super Team.
Jordan Hahn of Spring Grove, Ill., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Wisconsin in 2015.
The Richmond-Burton Community High School junior didn’t make any other visits because he knew where he wanted to go and was already committed to Wisconsin.
“Attending Wisconsin was an easy decision for me, I had always been a Badger fan,” Hahn said. “The new indoor facility is top class and Coach (Michael) Burcin and Coach (Robbie) Ziegler are great coaches and I look forward to working with them. Wisconsin has a great academic reputation with a wide variety of majors.”
He placed third at the class 2A Illinois state golf tournament in 2013 and made the All Midwest Boys Team (MAJGT). Hahn was also selected as the All-Area Player of the Year in 2013.
Brett Robinson of Tustin, Calif., gave a verbal commitment to play college golf at Wisconsin in 2015.
Robinson made unofficial visits to Oregon, Loyola Marymount and Oregon State.
"Wisconsin was the perfect fit for me as a student-athlete,” Robinson said. “It has amazing facilities, great coaches and most important, it's a great school. With the facilities, I am certain I will be able to take my game to a higher level and contribute to a Big Ten Championship."
The junior at Beckman High School in Irvine, Calif., had three top-15 finishes at three AJGA events in 2013. He is a two-time Pacific Coast League first-team player and won the individual league championship by six shots as a freshman. Robinson also had six top-15 finishes in Toyota Tour Cup events.
Nolan Ray of Brentwood, Tenn., gave a verbal commitment to play college golf at Tennessee in 2015.
Ray made unofficial visits to Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Wake Forest and Tennessee before getting offers from Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
The junior at Brentwood High School ultimately decided on Tennessee because it was the best fit for him.
“I think Coach (Jim) Kelson and Coach (Casey) VanDamme have a great player development plan in place that will help me reach my long term goals,” Ray said. “I was very impressed with the facilities, their recruiting efforts as well as the current team members. I admire the direction that Coach Kelson has the program heading in and am very excited to get to be a part of it. Also, my swing instructor Brad Rose lives in Knoxville and after many trips for lessons, I have gotten familiar and comfortable with the city and the university. Lastly, I genuinely feel that it is a real honor to have an opportunity to play for your home state.”
In 2013, Ray had three top-10 finishes, including two third place finishes at the PGA Junior Series at Mirimichi and the AJGA Preseason Junior at Chateau Elan ...
Cole Hammer has made his college choice before deciding where he will attend high school.
Hammer, 14, of Houston, gave a verbal commitment to play college golf at Texas in 2018. The eighth-grader at River Oaks Baptist School has yet to pick a high school.
Hammer visited SMU this fall, but he focused on Texas, knowing that’s where he wants to play.
“He loves Austin, Texas, and has always wanted to go to college at UT and play on the golf team,” Gregg Hammer, Cole’s father, said in an email on behalf of his son. “The golf program at UT has a great history, and over the last several years the team has consistently been at or near the top. He had several unofficial visits to UT and was very impressed with the on-campus and off-campus facilities. Most importantly, Cole really likes Coach (John) Fields and Coach (Ryan) Murphy.”
During 2013, Hammer played in 13 events. He won seven times and had five other top-5 finishes. He won five Legends Junior Tour – part of the Texas Golf Association – events and was named the Legends Player of the Year in the 14-and-under division. Hammer also finished second at the ...
Abigail Cantwell of Scottsdale, Ariz., gave a verbal commitment to play college golf at Tulane in 2015.
Cantwell also visited Georgetown, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, California Irvine and California.
“I chose Tulane primarily because of the coaching staff and the success of the golf program. Coach Lorne (Don) and Linn (Atiyeh) are outstanding and have created an atmosphere that encourages success,” said Cantwell. “I can't wait to play for them and they have already made me feel like I am part of the Green Wave family. I wanted to attend a strong academic school and it's rare to find such an exceptional golf program at a medium-sized school with excellent academic credentials. Additionally, the practice facilities that Tulane uses (English Turn and TPC Louisiana) are second to none. Finally, I love the prospect of attending school in the historic, exciting and fun city of New Orleans.”
Cantwell won the 2013 Arizona State High School Division II State Championship. She was selected to the All-State first team in Arizona. She finished in the top-10 in two AJGA events in 2013 and finished seventh at the Golfweek West Coast Junior Invitational.
Thomas Johnson (No. 32, Class of 2015) has committed to Oklahoma.
Johnson, who lives in Norman, Okla., and attends Norman North High School, made visits to Oklahoma and Arkansas. According to his father, Johnny, said Thomas grew up wanting to play for the Sooners.
"Once they wanted him, he really did not think about any other schools," Johnny Johnson said.
Some of Johnson's top finishes this year include a runner-up at the Jim McLean Invitational, shared medalist honors at the Oklahoma 6A state high school tournament, a victory at the PGA Junior Series event at Arbor Links, a 10th-place showing at the PGA Junior and 12th-place finish at the Oklahoma Open.
The Alabama Crimson Tide came out victorious over the LSU Tigers on the football field Nov. 9. But the Tide fell when it came to Sam Burns’ commitment.
Burns, the No. 10 player in the class of 2015 according to the Golfweek/Sagarin junior rankings, announced his verbal commitment to LSU on Nov. 15.
“I just felt like LSU could make me the best I could be,” Burns said. “Coach (Churck) Winstead is a really good guy. He knows a lot about golf, and I felt like he has a plan that could help get me to the next level.
“Nathan Jeansonne, who I’m a good buddy with and we practice together all the time, he committed to LSU. And another kid, Eric Ricard, who’s down there, he’s from Shreveport (La.) as well. Having all the Shreveport guys and three of your friends, I feel like we can play really well together and win a national championship.”
Burns took in the huge football game on a visit to Alabama, which made his final three schools along with Oklahoma. But the Crimson atmosphere was not enough to sway Burns, who said coaches, facilities and teammates were the most ...
Nathan Pirtle of Sullivan, Ind., who is ranked No. 75 by Golfweek for the Class of 2015, has committed to play college golf at Purdue.
Pirtle's father, Kent, said that Nathan "really hit it off" with Purdue coach Rob Bradley and that the facilities were another big factor in Nathan's choosing the Boilermakers.
Pirtle won the 2013 AJGA PNC Junior. He also finished third at the 2013 Golfweek Midwest Junior Invitational and fourth at the 2013 Golfweek Junior Tour Championship.
Kasey Nielsen and Kelly Nielsen, juniors at Kent Roosevelt High School in Kent, Ohio, have verbally committed to attend Kent State University on a golf scholarship.
The twins are members of the Class of 2015.
Kasey Nielsen was a second-team D-I All-Ohio selection in 2012 and '13, and finished sixth at the OHSAA D-I Girls State Golf Tournament as a sophomore. She also won the 2013 Lady Rider Invitational in Twin Lakes, Ohio, and the 2013 Midwest Classic Tournament in North Canton, Ohio, and finished fourth at the Golfweek Junior Tour event last summer in Warren, Ohio.
Kelly Nielsen was a three-time OHSAA D-I Girls State Golf Tournament qualifier (2011-13). She also won the Junior PGA Qualifier in Avon Lake, Ohio, and finished 32nd at the 2013 North-South Junior in Pinehurst, N.C., and third at the 2013 Northeast Ohio PGA Junior Sectional Qualifier in Massillon, Ohio.