JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After leading his team to a successful 2017-18 campaign, which included a trip to the NCAA Championship for the second straight year and the second-lowest GolfStat ranking in school history, Jacksonville University men's golf Head Coach Mike Blackburn announced the signing of an incoming freshman and an NCAA Division I transfer as part of the team's 2018 recruiting class.
Junior PGA Championship Participant Davis Smith will begin his college career with the Dolphins in Fall 2018, while 2016-17 Mid-America Conference Freshman of the Year Thomas Thurloway will transfer to the River City from Toledo University.
"We're looking forward to both Thomas and Davis joining the team and making an immediate impact this fall," Blackburn said. "We're happy to add two experienced and developed young men to a group that has already proven itself in competition."
Davis Smith | John's Creek, Ga. | Greater Atlanta Christian School
An amateur competitor for the last 11 years, Smith played in some of the most prestigious junior golf tournaments in the nation, including the Junior PGA Championship, the Jones Cup Junior Invitational and many others. Holding fully exempt status with the American Junior Golf Association, he received the 2018 Positive Athlete Georgia award for boy's golf in both Gwinnett County and the state of Georgia. As a member of the Greater Atlanta Christian School golf team, he assisted the squad in capturing the 2016 Georgia High School Association State Championship, the school's first-ever state title. Aside from participating in several AJGA events, Smith competed at the junior PGA Championship in 2015, and won the Southeast Junior Golf Tournament at Forest Hills in August 2016, shooting 15 birdies in the tournament and obtaining an invitation to the SJGT Tournament of Champions.
Coach Blackburn on Smith: "Davis is mature well beyond his years. His enthusiasm and passion for the game will be a welcome addition to our team."
Thomas Thurloway | Crawley, England | Oriel High School (Toledo University)
An incoming junior, Thurloway spent the past two seasons at Toledo University in Toledo, Ohio. As a member of the Rockets' men's golf team, he earned MAC All-Academic honors following the 2018 season, holding a 3.39 GPA while pursuing a degree in business. A participant in 10 tournaments during the 2017-18 season, the native of England averaged three-over par in 28 rounds, earning MAC Player of the Week on Feb. 16 for his performance at the Earl Yestingmeier Match Play Tournament in Dade City, Fla., where he posted a perfect 3-0 record. The 2016-17 MAC Freshman of the Year, Thurloway ranked 25th in the conference and first on the team with a 74.5 stoke average during his freshman campaign. Carding par-or-better on a team-high nine occasions, he was the Rockets' top finisher in three events over the course of the season. Prior to his collegiate career, Thurloway earned medalist honors in many amateur golf tournaments across the pond, including the 2013 Sussex Boys Championship and the U-12, U-14, U-16 and U-18 County Championships. He was the youngest-ever winner of the U-18 event, capturing the title at just 15 years old.
Coach Blackburn on Thurloway: "Thomas brings two years of successful NCAA DI experience with him and a solid game. He knows how to win at the collegiate level, and should be able to make an immediate impact."