By: Neal Maidment
Three of WA’s top junior golfers will play in the US NCAA collegiate circuit in 2023 after being signed by leading stateside universities.
Sheridan Clancy (Lake Karrinyup CC), Alexander Maxwell (Royal Fremantle GC) and Amie Phobubpa (Joondalup CC) are all GolfWA’s Athlete Tier-funded athletes and will ply their trade in Texas, Nevada, and Idaho respectively in 2023.
Clancy, aged 17, will attend Texas Christian University from January 2023 and be part of the Horned Frogs golf team. Although the process of being selected was a tough and arduous one, she is in no doubt that the experience will hold her in good stead for the future.
“The facilities at these top colleges are insane and the golf is at the highest level,” she told GolfWA. “The recruiting process is a long and gruelling one, but if you are passionate about your future it is something that just has to be done. Coaches are not just looking for a good golfer but someone that they believe will fit into their team environment and always brings their best attitude.”
Eighteen-year-old Maxwell, who will play for the University of Nevada team in Reno from January, was similarly enthusiastic. “I decided to go down this path because it seemed like a great way to be able to play in lots of WAGR tournaments and get a degree at the same time. I have spoken to so many people that had done it before me and they had all said that it was the best time of their lives.”
Both golfers believe the US collegiate circuit is a pathway other WA golfers should seriously consider.
“A lot of juniors from such an isolated part of the world as WA view living away from home at a young age as a foreign concept,” said Clancy. “But in the college system, as well as the golf you’re also able to pursue a degree that will grow you as a person and be better for your future.”
Maxwell added: “The college circuit gives you the opportunity to play in high-level tournaments on all sorts of courses around the US. I would recommend anyone looking at this pathway to investigate it as early as possible to make the process easier, but also think about getting a scholarship agency to help you.”
Phobubpa, meanwhile, will tee up in the US from August 2023 and will play for the Iowa State University’s Cyclonitas golf team. Iowa State head women’s golf coach Christie Martens revealed her excitement at signing the hot WA talent. “Amie is a leader in her state and across Australia. Time and time again we have heard about her energy and leadership and what a great ambassador she is.”
In addition to this trio, Joseph Buttress of The Western Australian GC (who was recently announced as the 2022 Crunch&Sip GolfWA Junior Boy Golfer of the Year) has verbally committed to the University of Illinois in 2024.
Many global golf superstars have made their name in the US collegiate system, including Tiger Woods, Michelle Wie, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth. This can also include GolfWA State Team representatives Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Freddie Lee, Jordan Jung, Jay-Lee Nair and Jordan Doull, who has just returned from Columbus State and has been selected in the 2023 Men’s State Squad.