Nov. 17, 2006
Charlottesville, VA -
Virginia men's golf coach Bowen Sargent announced today that three top junior golfers have signed national letters of intent and will play for the Cavaliers next fall. The trio includes Will Collins of Salisbury, N.C., Amory Davis of Chadds Ford, Pa. and Henry Smart of Epsom Surrey, England.
"Shane Howell (UVa assistant coach) and I worked extremely hard in recruiting and signing this class," Sargent said. "We knew this class would be pivotal to the future of Virginia golf and we could not be more excited to have signed Amory, Henry, and Will. I expect all three of these young men to set a new standard for Cavalier golf. All three bring a lot of talent, but more importantly, the confidence and desire to make UVa golf a national power."
The top-ranked junior in the state, Collins won the North Carolina junior match play championship in 2006. This fall he won the 2A high school state champion and helped Salisbury to a third-place finish in the team competition. Last summer he captured the North Carolina Junior Championship and was the top-ranked player in the Tarheel Youth Golf Association's standings. Collins is currently ranked the No. 36 college prospect by Golfweek. Collins mother, Debbie, attended graduate school at Virginia.
"Will is a big, strong kid who has the ability to overpower golf courses," Sargent said. "He's a good wedge player around the greens, and that serves someone well who has the length to put himself in those positions. His greatest assets are his work ethic and character, and he comes from a great family. If he holds in line with those principles, his future is unlimited."
Davis earned honorable mention honors to the Rolex/American Junior Golf Association All-America team this year. He won last year's AJGA CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Championship, shooting a final round 64. Davis was the runner up at this year's Bridgestone Junior Classic and finished second at the Delaware Junior Boys Amateur Golf Championship. As a junior, he won the Delaware High School state title while attending Tatnall School. He is currently ranked 22nd in the nation in the AJGA Polo Junior Golf Rankings.
"Amory was a highly recruited player and we are very fortunate to have him sign as a member of the 2007 class," Sargent said. "As you can tell from his record, Amory is an explosive player who has the ability to win each week out. He's a very gifted athlete that comes to Virginia with the focus, determination, and ability to play professional golf."
Smart is a member of the English Elite Squad that features the top 12 under-18 juniors in England. He placed fourth in the 2005 McGregor Trophy competition and was fifth at the Scottish under-16 championship. Smart played in this year's British Boys Championship, the premier junior event in Britain. He finished seventh at this year's Peter McEvoy Trophy competition, another major British amateur tournament, and won the prestigious Stowe Putter and the IAPS National Golf Championship at Royal St Lytham in 2005.
"I'm excited to announce the signing of Henry, as he is my first signee from Great Britain," Sargent said. "Henry comes to UVa with a wealth of experience and excellence against many of Europe's top juniors. He's a member of England's Elite Squad, a great compliment to his ability and talent. Henry has a very mature outlook and understanding of the game, a unique ability for a player of his age. This should serve him well as he begins what is to be expected a great collegiate career."