SEATTLE – Washington men’s golf head coach Matt Thurmond is pleased to announce next year’s freshman class who have each signed letters of intent with the Huskies. The deep class will bolster an already strong Washington squad for years to come.
"Signing four guys is a big class, but we just liked all these guys so much that it made sense for us,” said Thurmond. “There is great balance here in their golf abilities, personalities, and leadership styles. It's also the first time in several years that we've signed three Washington guys in one class and that's pretty cool."
The four-person class has a local flavor with three in-state products as well as resident of Vancouver, Canada. Signing with the Dawgs were Spencer Weiss, Frank Garber, Jordan Lu and Greg Gildea.
Spencer Weiss - Eastlake HS
Weiss is a local player from Eastlake high school in Sammamish, Wash. He is a four-time Washington 4A high school state qualifier and the 2013 4A KingCo Conference Player of the Year. As the captain of the Juanita squad, he led the Rebels to the 4A state title in 2013.
"Spencer has a really fun personality and a lot of golf potential and ability,” said Thurmond. He has a swing we really like and see translating to success in college. He also plays really fast which we think is pretty cool in our program."
Weiss also has experience at a high level, playing for Washington at the 2013 Junior Americas Cup. He was also an alternate for the 2012 U.S. Amateur and the 2013 U.S. Open Sectional.
“Signing to The University of Washington is such an honor,” said Weiss. I’m very excited to be a part of one of the best programs in the country with great coaches, players, and facilities.”
Frank Garber – Juanita HS
Frank is another incoming freshman from down the road at nearby Juanita high school in Kirkland, Wash. He is a two-time 3A Washington State Champion for the Wolves, but lists his top accomplishment as winning the 2013 American Junior Golf Association at Oakbrook. An excellent student, Garber comes from a golfing family with his father, Rick, being the former head golf coach at Oregon State. Frank’s mother, Hanne, is a native of Norway and Garber speaks fluent Norwegian.
"Frank has made a habit of winning golf tournaments since he was just a little kid,” said Thurmond. “He is really smart in the classroom and that translates to a very mature golf game. He hits the ball very well knows how to work his way around the course with precision, consistency, and a great wedge game."
Garber has several other tournament titles to his name, including the 2013 Pacific Northwest Golf Association Junior Boys Championship, the U.S. Kids’ Golf European Championship in Scotland in both 2009 and 2010 and the Washington Junior Golf Association State title four times (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011). More recently, he placed 13th at the 2013 Washington Men’s Amateur at Chambers Bay and tied for 13th at the 2012 Callaway Junior World at Torrey Pines.
"I'm really excited to be a part of UW Men's Golf,” said Weiss. “Coach Thurmond has done such a great job with the program over the years and I really look forward to being on the team. Today has been a day that I have waited a long time for and it feels really good to make it all official. I can't wait to get started next fall."
Jordan Lu - Vancouver, Canada
Lu is a native of Taiwan where both of his parents are professors. He has lived in Vancouver the past few years with his sister who is a student at the University of British Columbia. He recently graduated from the Prince of Wales Secondary School in B.C.
"Jordan is an excellent ball striker with a good all-around game,” said Thurmond. “He is committed to being great and plays with a quiet confidence and presence. He works hard. Jordan comes from Taiwan originally and we hope he will continue in the footsteps of his countryman, Cheng-Tsung Pan."
Lu won the 2013 British Columbia AAA High School title, in addition to the Vancouver High School Championship. He finished tied for second at the 2013 B.C. Junior Championship, finishing 11-under for four rounds. Lu tied for third at the 2012 Boys’ Junior Americas Cup, leading B.C. to a second-place finish as a team. Lu also finished sixth at the Callaway Junior World Championship, won the 2011 Canadian Nike Invitational and qualified for both the 2012 U.S. Junior Amateur and the 2013 Canadian Amateur.
“It is with great pleasure that I sign with the University of Washington,” said Lu. “The opportunity to represent The University of Washington on its Golf Team has given me a great sense of accomplishment, which will undoubtedly lead to great things for the future. I look forward to being a part of the rich golf history and tradition that Coach Thurmond and Coach Potter have already instilled at UW.”
Greg Gildea – Bellarmine HS
Gildea comes to Washington from down I-5 at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma. He was originally from Vashon Island, Wash., but recently moved with his family to Lakewood, Wash.
"After how the season ended last year I felt we need to add more explosive power to our team and Greg definitely fits that goal,” said Thurmond. “He hits it long, has a lot of swagger and confidence, and is sneaky good around the greens. I can't wait to see him compete every day with reckless abandon. Plus, it's about time we added a stud from the 253. Hopefully, more of that to come."
Gildea won the San Diego Junior Masters this past year and top-five finishes in three different American Junior Golf Association events. He was also named the Future Champions Golf Tour Player and Sportsman of the Year.
"Today means so much to me because I have working towards becoming a Division I golfer the past five years,” said Gildea. “The fact that it is the University of Washington makes it that much more memorable. I look forward in helping this team accomplish great things in the near future. Go Dawgs!"