BUIES CREEK, N.C. – A trio of international men's golf standouts have signed with Big South Conference champion Campbell University. Swedish national team members Pontus Nyholm and Erik Nordlund will join head coach John Crooks' program along with Australian standout Josh Hetherington.
"We identified these young men a couple of years ago and have followed their progress ever since," said Crooks, who has guided the Campbell men and women to back-to-back berths in the NCAA regional championships. "Their outstanding play nationally and internationally has been very impressive. They are recognized as world class athletes but it should be noted they are world class students as well."
Crooks will add Nyholm, Nordlund and Hetherington to a roster that includes 2017 Big South golfer of the year Jesper Svensson, who broke Dustin Johnson's league record to win the conference title at 14-under-par as a sophomore. Also returning is rising senior Thomas La Morte, the Big South runner-up, two-time all-conference performer Ray Kraivixien, plus 2017 Big South all-freshman team members Brett McLamb and Max Theodorakis.
"Pontus, Erik and Josh are gifted golfers that will help a strong team immediately," said Crooks. "I am honored and humbled that each one of our incoming student athletes chose Campbell University to pursue their life goals.
A resident of Gavle, Sweden, Nyholm won the 2015 Swedish Skandia Junior Tour Order of Merit and was runner-up in the 2015 Swedish Junior Match Play Championship. He finished fourth at the
2015 Swedish Junior Stroke Play Championship and advanced to the round of 16 in the 2016 British Boys Amateur Championship. In addition, Nyholm was a member of the winning Continental European Team in the 2016 Jaques Leglise Trophy vs. Great Britain and Ireland.
Nordlund, who hails from Taby, Sweden, had two wins on the 2015 Swedish Skandia Junior Tour. He also finished in fourth place in the 2015 Swedish Junior Match Play Championship and was third in the 2017 Campoenato de Castillon (Spain).
A product of Melbourne, Australia, Hetherington won the 2016 2016 Southern Australia Open Championship and is a four-time representative in the Australian state championships (three times for Northern Territory and once for Victoria). He was the 2013 Northern Territory Junior Masters Champion and advanced to Match Play in the 2015 Australian Amateur Championship. He finished 14th in the 2015 Australian Boys Stroke Play Championships.
Campbell won three times during the 2016-17 season, capturing titles at the Old Dominion/OBX Collegiate and Border Olympics in addition to the Big South Championship. Crooks was named Big South Conference men's coach of the year after guiding his team to a league 54-hole record (273-277-288—838) 26-under-par finish at The Patriot Golf Club. The Camels notched the best regional finish (10th) in Campbell's Division I history, bettering 13th-place showings in 2009 and 2016.