Tornados welcome six talented new players

BREVARD, N.C. - Veteran Brevard College men’s golf coach David Nelson is up to his usual tricks. Six talented new international freshman golfers have rolled into town to join the Tornados for what should be a very interesting 2014-15 links campaign.

The six newcomers come bearing impressive credentials. Five of them are scratch golfers with handicaps of zero. The sixth plays to a two handicap.

Three of the five hail from Scotland, generally accepted as the home of the game of golf. In actuality, Scots soldiers encountered a game called Chole, played by the French in the early 1400s, took it home and turned it into what has become modern golf.

More interesting trivia: Chole also employs a shafted club and a ball and is still played in France and Belgium. And, in an early version of political correctness, golf was greatly discouraged by several early kings of Scotland. The reason? Scotsmen should practice archery and other war-like skills that would better serve the needs of the state.

In the usual coming and going at the end of a small college sports season, three Tornados have moved on from last year’s team. Most missed will be Finland’s Sami Vanni, who transferred to the University of New Orleans. Mexican Diego Ortiz will attend Point Park University in Pittsburgh, while Canadian Brandon St. Louis has enrolled at Point College near Atlanta.

However, the heart of Coach Nelson’s scoring strength in 2013-14 returns. Strong, steady Sabastian Strehl, a compact sophomore from Asporg, Germany, and lanky, long-hitting 6-5 sophomore Oskar Lundgren from Roback, Sweden will anchor this year’s Tornado attack.

Strehl and Lundgren are supported by three additional second year players, Madrid, Spain’s Luis Vega and Brevard natives Chris Fry and Nathan McNeil.

The newcomers are Scots Declan Addison from Peterhead, Calum McAndrew from Fife and Craig Stephen from Torphins. Trym Falch comes to BC from Sandnes, Norway, Florian Peyssonneaux from Marcoux in Southeast France and Alejandro Montanes from Castellon on Spain’s east coast.

The Tornados open play at the Cougar Point Golf Club on Kiawah Island September 15-16. This tournament, hosted by the University of South Carolina Aiken, is open to the top 25 college teams in the U.S. “This is a great way for us to get cranked up for the fall season,” Coach Nelson said. “It will give us a chance to begin to see how this team will shake out.”

BC’s schedule also includes two local tournaments. The Tornados will co-host, with Lincoln Memorial University, the Etowah Intercollegiate at the nearby Etowah Golf Club September 22-23. November 1-2, BC will play in the Hummingbird Intercollegiate at the Sapphire Valley Country Club. Western Carolina is the host for that tournament.

Coach Nelson said, “We’re very young, five sophomores and six freshmen, but I’m always excited at this time of the year. You never know who might turn out to be a great player. Even though the new guys bring great credentials with them, the adjustment to U.S. golf courses can be difficult. I’m anxious to see how this team pans out.”

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