Austin Connelly has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for SMU. Connelly also made unofficial visits to Georgia, Alabama, Auburn and Arizona State. He narrowed his decision down to Georgia and SMU before deciding to join the Mustangs roster under head coach Josh Gregory.
Connelly, from Irving, Texas, attends iSchool High Lewisville. He is ranked No. 6 by Golfweek among Texas boys.
“I chose SMU for a number of reasons,” Connelly said. “The first of which is because I truly believe that Josh Gregory is the best coach in all of men’s college golf, and I believe that he has proven it time and time again. The second is because of the outstanding practice facility and golf course facility that they are about to build, along with the outstanding golf courses that they play day in and day out. The third is because of the school’s outstanding academics, along with the connections that can be made at SMU which are astounding. The fourth and final main reason is because my coach, Cameron McCormick, is here locally, and he is irreplaceable to me.”
In the past year, Connelly finished T-3 at the AJGA’s Under Armour/Hunter ...
Ben Schlottman, of Advance, N.C., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Auburn in 2014.
Schlottman, who attends Forsyth Country Day School in Lewisville, N.C., also considered Wake Forest, North Carolina, Arkansas and Stanford.
“The facilities are amazing, and the coaches are very supportive and they are very plan-oriented, and I liked that,” Schlottman said.
Schlottman has two victories on the International Junior Golf Tour and has helped Forsyth County Day School to top-five finishes in the NCISAA Class 3-A state championships the last two seasons. He has been an All-State player the last two seasons. He holds a weighted 4.3 grade-point average.
Connor Greenleaf, of Windham, N.H., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Boston College in 2014.
Greenleaf, a junior at Windham High School, made unofficial visits to Michigan, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
“Boston College is a very prestigious school which offers all the things that I want for my college experience: A great D1 golf program, very good academics, a great golf coach, great facilities, perfect amount of kids attending the school, great location, very beautiful campus, very good reputation all around, and a really good group of kids on the team,” Greenleaf said. “I feel I will have the opportunity to further not only my own abilities on the golf course, but also be able to help the team grow.”
Greenleaf was on the winning team for New England at the Team New England vs. Team Florida match at Doral. He made match play at the 2012 U.S. Junior Amateur and at the Doral Publix Junior Golf Classic. He was named player of the year by the Eagle Tribune newspaper in his hometown.
Max Donohue of Sioux Falls, S.D., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at the University of Arizona in 2014.
He made unofficials visits to Minnesota, South Dakota State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Stat, Arizona State, Auburn, TCU and New Mexico. Five schools, Auburn, South Dakota State, Minnesota, New Meixco and Oklahoma, made verbal offers to him.
Donohue chose Arizona because of the great weather and coach Jim Anderson.
“Coach Anderson is young, knowledgeable and hard working,” Donohue said. “I believe the combination of his coaching skills and the ability to recruit top players will continue to make the program strong. In addition, coach grew up in South Dakota and really understand what it takes to be a competitive golf from this part of the country.”
The O’Gorman High School junior has had four top four AJGA finishes, including a win at the 2011 AJGA Junior at Quad Cities. He was also the 2012 South Dakota state junior champion.
Nick Sparling of Dublin, Ohio, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Ohio State in 2014.
Sparling also visited Notre Dame, Tennessee, Illinois, Miami (Ohio) and Indiana.
"I chose the Buckeyes because of the new indoor facilities they are building, the great golf courses they have access to and the guys on the team,” Sparling said. “I really connected with them, and I like Coach (Donnie) Darr and Coach (Ryan) Potter.”
The Dublin Coffman High School junior believes Ohio State will "help me realize my dream of playing on the PGA Tour."
Sparling won the 2012 Ohio State high school championship on the OSU Scarlet Course.
Patrick Hallisey of Wethersfield, Conn., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Boston College in 2014.
The Kingwood Oxford School junior chose Boston College because “of the amazing education it offers and the location.”
“I’ll be able to stay close to my friends and family throughout the school year.”
For most of his life, Hallisey played ice hockey, but about 2 1/2 years ago, he realized he loved golf more and switched.
“I'm really proud of the fact that I haven't been playing golf that long, but I've improved in such a short period of time,” Hallisey said.
Hallisey was runner-up at the 2012 Stan Trojanowski Northern Junior and placed sixth at the AJGA Philadelphia Junior. He is the fifth-ranked junior in Connecticut.
Michael Sharp of Kendallville, Ind., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Michigan State in 2014.
Sharp made several unofficial visits, including Evansville and Purdue.
The East Noble High School junior chose Michigan State because ‘I was so impressed with MSU, and I knew it was the place for me.’
“I was really impressed with the academics and golf facilities. I also really like the family atmosphere that surrounds that team, and I believe that Coach (Casey) Lubahn and Coach (Garry) Winger will help me reach my goals,” Sharp said.
He has been on the All-State IHSAA first team as a freshman and sophomore in high school. Sharp was the runner-up at the 2012 Links of Kokepelli PGA Junior Series event.
Thadd Obecny II of Wheeling, W.Va., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Central Florida in 2014.
He made unofficial visits to Ohio State, Kent State, Vanderbilt, South Florida and Duke.
The Wheeling Park High School junior chose UCF because of “its great golf program and academics, including the best of weather conditions for golf.”
Obecny had seven top-15 finishes in 2012, including a victory at the West Virginia Junior Match Play Championship.
Grant Hirschman of Collierville, Tenn., gave a verbal commitment to play college golf at Oklahoma. Hirschman made unofficial visits to Ole Miss, Tennessee, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Memphis and Auburn.
The St. George’s Independent School junior felt that the overall support from Oklahoma made it the best fit for him.
“I got great vibes from both coaches (head coach Ryan Hybl and assistant Blake Smart) that OU was the place for me and the place that can help further the development of my game,” Hirschman said. “I really liked the campus and the campus atmosphere that I received.”
He also liked the facilities, especially the Nike Oven, which is nearby.
Hirschman has five top-5 AJGA finishes, including three in 2012. He won the Tennessee Division II Class A state championship as a freshman in 2011 and this past fall as a junior.
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.
Matthew Perrine of Austin, Texas, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Auburn in 2014.
Perrine will graduate from Westlake High School.
He made unofficial visits to Arizona, Arkansas and SMU.
“The Auburn campus, athletic training facilities, commitment to its golf program and overall family atmosphere were very special and definitely stood out in many ways,” said Perrine. “Both coach Nick Clinard and Evan Osteen are equally important; they are great people that I look forward to working with. As coaches, they have developed Auburn into one of the nation’s top golf programs, and I know that Auburn is definitely the best place for me to combine an excellent education with an excellent golf program in one of the nation’s strongest athletic conferences, the SEC.”
In 2012, Perrine finished in the top 10 at the Southern Junior Championship and the AJGA’s Goodman Network Junior at Traditions. He was also named to the HP Scholastic Honor Roll.
Brian Carlson of Madison, Conn., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Purdue in 2014. He will graduate from Daniel Hand High School.
Carlson also visited Virginia, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Connecticut and Boston College before committing to Purdue.
“The academic program I’m interested in is outstanding, and the university course and practice facility is one of the best in the country,” Carlson said. “With the combined knowledge of all four coaches, my game will certainly be elevated to the next level. It’s also important for me to know the coaches have faith in me as a person and will help me succeed on and off the golf course.”
Carlson had three top 10s in three AJGA events in 2012. He won the Killington Junior Golf Championship by 11 shots and finished second at the Genesis Junior Open. In 2012, he tied the club record at Clinton Country Club with an 8-under 64.
Patrick Albanesi of Avon, Conn., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Boston College in 2014. He spent his first two years of high school at Avon Old Farms but now attends the Hank Haney International Golf Academy in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Albanesi visited Virginia, Wake Forest, St. John’s, Connecticut and North Carolina before deciding to become an Eagle.
“Boston College is a school that I could play in tournaments right away while still playing against some of the best amateurs in the country,” Albanesi said. “Also, academics are very important to me, and getting into the Carroll School of Management played a large part in my decision to attend BC.”
He also fell in love with the campus and got along with the coaches right away.
Albanesi won the 2012 Golfweek New England Invitational at Blue Hill. He won his first AJGA qualifier by four shots for the AJGA Killington Junior Golf Championship, and then finished fifth in that tournament.
Nick Hardy of Northbrook, Ill., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Illinois in 2014. He is a junior at Glenbrook North High School.
Hardy also visited Northwestern, Iowa and Arizona before deciding on Illinois.
“I chose Illinois because Coach (Mike) Small will give me the best chance to make it to the next level and be able to achieve success in college golf,” Hardy said. “It also provides a great education.”
Hardy tied for second at the Jones Cup Junior Invitational and made it to the Round of 64 at the U.S. Junior Amateur. He tied the course record at Crystal Downs Country Club in Frankfort, Mich., with a 5-under 65.