Nov. 14, 2005

Bobby Massa, one of the top 10 junior boys golfers in the state of Texas and South African golfers, Michael van de Venter and Bryce Easton, both top ranked in their province, have signed National Letters of Intent to play golf for UTA in 2006 it was announced Monday.

Massa, a District 6-5A champion as an Irving (Texas) High School sophomore and a three-time Region I-5A qualifier was the Northern Texas Junior PGA Champion in 2002 and the runner-up in 2003. He shot a five-under-par 139 to win the Dallas Morning News City Championship in 2002. The son of former UTA baseball and golf standout Joe Massa, Bobby was an alternate for the 2005 United States Amateur. He has compiled eight high school tournament wins and a career stroke average of 71.6.

"This is by far my best recruiting class at UTA," said UTA Golf Coach Jay Rees. "Bobby has had an outstanding high school career and he will try to cap it off with a state championship his senior year.

"Both Michael (van de Venter) and Bryce (Easton) are the best golfers South Africa has to offer. Both were heavily recruited by top Division I schools and the fact that they chose UTA shows UTA is considered among the top golf schools in the country. Their play on the international level will make them two players who should come in and contribute immediately. Their arrival will raise the level of expectations to make UTA a top-25 program."

van de Venter is ranked the No. 2 junior golfer in South Africa. He was the runner up in the 2003 South Africa Junior 0 to 16 Championships.

Rated the top junior golfer in the state of Gauteng North with a stroke averaged of 69.75, van de Venter has been named the team captain for the Gauteng North team to play at the national junior match-play championships. He was chosen to represent South Africa in Belgium at the SAAB International teams tournament and in a tournament against the Nederlands in Cape Town.

Easton captained the South African Under-18 team that competed in Namibia in August and was a member of the Under-18 Team that competed in Holland in July.

He won the 2005 Zululand Open, the 2005 Ernie Els Junior tour event in Royal Durban and was the runner up at the 2005 KZN Amateur and the Brian Porritt Under-23 Memorial event.

He recently broke the Durban Country Club's Beachwood course record with an eight-under-par 64.

Easton is currently first on the KZN Open Order of Merit and ranked fourth on the South African Golf Foundation national stroke average with a 71.42.

UTA returns to golf action in the spring with the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships, Feb. 5-7, 2006, in Ponte Verde Beach, Fla.




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