FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – With three NCAA Championship appearances in the last five years, Arkansas men’s golf got even stronger on Wednesday when head coach Brad McMakin announced the signing of Austin Connelly and Noah Edmondson to a National Letters of Intent (NLI) on the final day of the early signing period.
“I’m very excited about our two new recruits. Getting the top junior in the country in Austin Connelly and another top 50 player in Noah Edmondson says a lot about our facilities and University,” said McMakin, who has led Arkansas to 20 team titles since taking over in 2006. “Both of these players will make an immediate impact when they step on campus. Austin and Noah have high expectations on winning a championship and getting to the PGA Tour. Both come from very supportive families who I thank for giving me their blessing to coach and mentor their sons to the highest level.”
One of the most decorated junior players in the country, Connelly is the top player in the Junior Golf ranking, No. 2 in the class of 2015 by Golfweek.com and No. 4 in the Polo Golf ranking. A dual citizen of Nova Scotia and the U.S., Connelly helped lead Canada to a 19-stroke win at the Tailhade Cup in Argentina less than two weeks ago.
In September Connelly put himself in the national spotlight when he drained a 90-foot putt on the 18th hole to clinch his mixed four-ball match at the Junior Ryder Cup for the Americans. The putt not only earned the Americans a point, but also landed Connelly in the top spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. Over the two-day Junior Ryder Cup which the Americans won 16-8 over Europe, Connelly won all three of his matches (Foursome, Fourball and Singles).
Connelly’s junior career has taken off over the last two years, as he’s finished in the top 15 in 18 of 20 events since the start of 2013. This past June, Connelly won the FootJoy Invitational with four straight under-par rounds and owned a share of the first round lead at The Junior PLAYERS Championship en route to tying for third place. In 2013, he won the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship and tied for second at The Junior PLAYERS Championship.
Ranked in the top 50 by Golfweek.com in the class of 2015, Edmondson recently finished eighth at the IZOD AJGA Championship thanks to back-to-back two-under 69s over the final two rounds against a field that featured 43 players committed to play collegiate golf. The top 10 was the second in the last four tournaments for Edmondson.
A native of Davidson, Texas, Edmondson won the 2012 Bubba Conlee Junior Invitational and the AJGA Bass ProShop/Payne Stewart Championship. In 2013, Edmondson won a North Carolina individual state championships and led the Cannon School to a third place finish while posting a top 10 individual finish at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state championship in 2014.
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