Nov. 14, 2003
The UCLA men's golf program enjoyed an outstanding signing period, securing four top players from the West Coast to National Letters of Intent, the athletic department announced today.
Head Coach O.D. Vincent signed Kevin Chappell (Buchanan HS, Clovis, CA), Brandon Christianson (Valencia HS, Valencia, CA), Daniel Im (La Habra HS, La Habra, CA) and Craig Leslie (Ferris HS, Spokane, WA).
"We're very fortunate to have signed four players who are the complete package," said Vincent. "They are great players, solid students and outstanding people. These four players will be the cornerstone around which the future of UCLA golf will be built."
Chappell, who earned FCWT All-American mention from Jim McLean, finished sixth at the FCWT National Championship in May and tied for second at the West Coast Challenge in February. He recorded four Top 20 finishes in the last year on the AJGA circuit and won medallist honors at the Len Ross Fresno City Jr. Championship in April. In addition, he ranks 64th nationally among U.S. junior boys.
Christianson, an outstanding student, made the cut for seven consecutive years at the Junior World Championships and finished second in 1996 and '98. In the last two years, he has averaged 73.0 on the AJGA circuit and recorded five Top 20 finishes, including a third place finish at the Morgan Run event with scores of 69-69-70-208 (-5). On May 12, 2003 in the CIF Team Divisional tournament, he posted a round of 62 (-10) to tie the course record at Soule Park GC. That score was the lowest round ever recorded by a high school player in Southern California history.
Im is a two-time First-Team AJGA All-American. In 2003, he has recorded five Top 10 finishes on the AJGA schedule, including a victory at the Lennar Junior at Mission Hills. He also was a member of the 2003 Canon Cup West Team and was named the Los Angeles Times' 2003 Player of the Year. He ranks 10th among U.S. junior boys in the GolfWeek/Titleist rankings and fourth in the class of 2004.
Leslie won the 2001 and '02 Washington State Championship and was a member of the 2002 Washington State Hogan Cup Team. He was the medallist in the 2003 PNGA Men's Championship stroke play competition and also won the 2003 Canadian Jr. Championship Series. In addition, he won the 2002 IJGT Sunriver event and tied for sixth in the 2003 AJGA Sunriver tournament.
"Starting the year, all four of these players were our top recruiting priority," said Vincent. "Saying goodbye to our terrific senior class will be difficult, and this foursome will go a long way toward filling that void."