Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Now that his college plans are all lined up, Austin Zoller has turned his focus to one of the most prestigious junior golf events in the country.
Zoller was joined by friends and family on Nov. 13 in the Ashley Ridge High School auditorium as he signed a national letter of intent to join the Winthrop University golf team. The AR senior had offers from bigger name universities, but said he thinks Winthrop has more to offer him.
“I like the coach at Winthrop and that I should get to play as a freshman,” Zoller said. “I’m excited. I’d like to become a professional and I think playing for Winthrop could serve as a steppingstone.”
If his performances during high school and American Junior Golf Association events are any indication, Zoller will be able to step in his first year and be a contributor for the Eagles.
“Austin is someone we have had our eye on for a few years,” Winthrop golf coach Kevin Pendley told winthropeagles.com. “He is a tremendous talent who has excelled at the state and national level. He is very sound fundamentally, and is a very aggressive player with great length who will have a big impact on our program.”
Since May, Zoller has been on fire. In his past 15 events, he recorded 14 Top 10’s and finished 28 tournament rounds with a 70.85 stroke average. His hot play has qualified him for the AJGA Polo Golf Junior Classic, which will take place in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. over the Thanksgiving Holiday.
That tournament will feature several of the nations top junior golfers. Past winners of the event, formerly known as the Rolex Junior Classic and American Junior Classic, include Tiger Woods.
Zoller is ranked third in the state by the South Carolina Junior Golf Association and 54th nationally in the class of 2014 by Golfweek magazine. Prestigious victories under his belt include capturing the 2012 Charles Tilghman Junior title, 2011 South Carolina Junior Golf Association Players Championship and Big I Qualifier title in Orangeburg that qualified him for Nationals in Pinehurst, SC.
In addition to his titles, Zoller also finished second at the 2013 AJGA Burgett Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic and Carolinas PGA. He placed third at the 2012 South Carolina Junior Championship and The Blade Classic and had three other Top 10 finishes, including a sixth-place finish at the 2013 AJGA EZGO Vaughn Taylor Junior, a tie for sixth at the 2013 Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship, and a 10th-place tie at the 2013 AJGA Davis Love III Junior Open.
Before transferring to Ashley Ridge, as a freshman Zoller was a member of the Fort Dorchester Boys’ team that claimed the State Championship. He was an All-region and All-state performer for Ashley Ridge last year.
“Austin has had an unbelievable career to date and is certainly one of the most successful golfers to come through the Lowcountry,” Ashley Ridge golf coach Chris Shaw said. “I have enjoyed coaching him and I look forward to big things from him this upcoming high school season.”
Zoller comes from a golf family. His father Karl is a former collegiate All-American and PGA player. His brother Taylor is a member of the Kent State University golf team and was also on the FD state championship team. His sister Grace is a member of the ARHS Girls’ golf team.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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