SFU Golf Coach Matthew Steinbach Is Pleased With How His Squad Is Shaping Up For Next Season. (SFU Athletics/Gabriel Lynn)
BURNABY, British Columbia (Steve Frost/SFU Athletics) — After being named head coach of the Simon Fraser University Men's and Women's golf teams in June, Matthew Steinbach welcomed three golfers to the program.
Estee Leung, Ryan Stolys and Connor McCrea have signed National Letters of Intent to compete for Canada's only NCAA golf teams next season.
"With only one senior moving on from last year's teams, I'm very satisfied with the incoming players joining us next year," said Steinbach. "We have three great student-athletes joining the program and I expect all three to contribute on the course and in the classroom."
Estee Leung, younger sister of the 2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year Emily Leung, will be coming to SFU from South Island School in Hong Kong.
She is an accomplished junior amateur golfer, winning the 2015 Hong Kong Junior Close Championship before earning a second-place finish a year later. Leung was also victorious at the Mid-Summer Classic Tournament and Leg 4 of the HKPGA Order of Merit series in 2015 and she led her school to a first-place tie in the International Schools Sports Federation Hong Kong (ISSFHK) Golf Championship.
Leung also represented Hong Kong on the International stage twice, first at the 2015 Mercedes Trophy Junior Master Final Golf Championship in Thailand followed by the Singapore Junior Golf Championship in 2017. Academically, she is a high achieving student who has earned top grades throughout her high school career.
"I choose to come to SFU because of its competitive and exceptional golf program," said Leung. "I am sure I will be able to gain lots of valuable golf experiences during my time with the program."
On the men's side, Ryan Stolys joins SFU Golf from Richmond Hill, Ontario. He finished tied for second at the Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA) Eastern Canadian Junior Championship in 2015 and then won three CJGA events the following year, including the Nike Junior Golf Championships. So far in 2017, he improved his tournament scoring average from 75.48 in 2016 to 74.00 and has already earned two runner-up finishes, both of which required a playoff.
Stolys graduated from Bill Crothers Secondary and was an honour roll student in grades 11 and 12. In addition, he received numerous recognitions at academic competitions in the fields of math and science. "SFU is a good fit for both my academic and athletic goals," Stolys explained. "I was able to come to an institution where I can compete against strong competition in the NCAA while also going to school at one of the top engineering programs in Canada."
Rounding out the 2017 recruiting class is Connor McCrea, a transfer from McCook Community College – an NJCAA Division I institution in Nebraska. He helped his team qualify for the NJCAA National Championship in his freshman year, where he shot rounds of 75-72-77-71 for a 72-hole total of 295 (+7). In his second year with the program, he earned First Team All-Conference honour. A native of Burlington, Ontario, McCrea graduated from McCook with a CPGA of 3.50 and was on the Dean's List as well as the Academic All-Conference team in the two years he was with the school.
"The chance to come home to Canada and play golf for the only school in the country that competes in the NCAA was very appealing," said McCrea. "I want to have another chance to play at the national championship level and I think this team can get there. Additionally, Simon Fraser is a world-ranked school from an academic perspective and so this institution is the complete package and a perfect fit for me."
Despite the challenges of the 2016-17 campaign, where long time Head Coach John Buchanan passed away midway through the season, the year finished successfully for Simon Fraser Golf. The Women's team defended its GNAC title and made its first-ever appearance in NCAA postseason play while Chris Crisologo returned to the Super Region tournament for a third-straight time. With the new season just around the corner, Steinbach has high expectations for his players, both old and new.
"With these three additions, the Men's and Women's teams immediately improve and both rosters now boast depth," Steinbach added. "It will be highly competitive amongst the group just to qualify for the traveling team and I believe this internal competition will drive the players to work harder than ever. I am confident this will translate to our tournament play and I know both teams have the potential to be National Championship contenders so I am excited for the season to begin."
2017 SFU Recruiting Class
Estee Leung – Richmond, BC
Height - 5'3"
High School - South Island School (Hong Kong)
Steinbach: "Estee will have an immediate impact to the Women's team. She is a proven winner who has demonstrated immense golfing ability on the International stage. In addition to her abilities on the golf course, Estee is an exceptional student and epitomizes what it is to be a student-athlete."
Ryan Stolys – Richmond Hill, ON
Height - 6'2"
High School - Bill Crothers Secondary School
Steinbach: "Ryan was our only early signing. He has a strong tournament resume having competed in Provincial and National Championships and has a proven record of winning. Ryan has the perfect balance of academics and athletics focus that will make him a cornerstone member of the team for years to come."
Connor McCrea – Burlington, ON
Height - 6'0"
High School - Nelson High School
Previous School - McCook Community College
Steinbach: "Connor joins us as a third-year player, transferring from a junior college in the States. Connor's maturity, being a couple years older, is exactly what we needed to help round out our roster for next season. I have no doubt that Connor will help provide leadership on and off the golf course and push the Men's team to regain its Championship form."