The rich just got richer.
Fresh off a perfect fall campaign in which it won four times, the Stanford women's team added some more elite reinforcements during the early signing period for the Class of 2022. Cardinal head coach Anne Walker signed one of the top classes in the country, inking national letters of intent from top-ranked junior Megha Ganne and Kelly Xu.
Ganne is the consensus No. 1 in all three junior rankings, this year's Rolex AJGA Junior Player of the Year and is ranked No. 24 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. She was low amateur at this year's U.S. Women's Open (T-14) and has six top-5s in major junior tournaments the last two years. Xu was a three-time Rolex AJGA All-American, receiving first-team honors this year.
Both players also have experience in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National. Ganne was a four-time national finalist while Xu won the age 7-9 division in 2015.
"Megha and Kelly both have golf resumes that outshine their peers," Walker said. "They have represented the United States, been prominent players in the Drive, Chip and Putt, have been honored with several awards and at the same time, excelled in the classroom. Above all though, they have strong character and will bring immeasurable, positive qualities to our locker room. We are excited to add them to our strong roster and know that they will be integral on our quest for our next championship."
Should Rose Zhang, already a three-time winner this fall as a freshman, and Rachel Heck, last season's Annika Award winner, remain in school for another year, Stanford would boast three of the past four AJGA players of the year on the same roster.
Joining the Cardinal in bringing in top talent this signing period was Arizona State, which added four players, including Germany's Paula Schulz-Hanssen, who won the 2020 European Ladies Amateur and is the highest-ranked player in this class, per the WAGR, at No. 19. She is joined by Ireland's Beth Coulter, England's Patience Rhodes (her older sister, Mimi, plays at Wake Forest) and Grace Summerhays, whose older brother Preston is a freshman for the Sun Devils.
Texas and USC also notched top classes. The Longhorns inked Huai-Chien Hsu, who won Junior Worlds this year by three shots over her fellow Texas signee, Angela Heo. Barbados' Emily Odwin rounds out the Longhorns' class. The Trojans signed four-time AJGA All-American Amari Avery, who is best known for starring in the Netflix documentary "The Short Game" in 2013, and Catherine Park, whose mother became South Korea's first Olympic gold medalist when she won gold in archery at the 1984 Olympics as a 17-year-old. Her father is a 1986 Asian Games gold medalist in judo.
Avery will join the Trojans in January as she hopes to do what Annie Park did in 2013, join USC midseason, win conference, regionals and nationals as an individual and lead the Trojans to an NCAA team title.
"[Assistant coach] Katie [Mitchell] and I know the immediate impact that Amari will make on our program and we expect her to come in and compete for tournament victories early in the spring season," USC head coach Justin Silverstein said. "Amari has an incredible junior golf record and we believe she was a perfect candidate to graduate high school early to help us win another NCAA Championship."
On the men's side, Alabama hopes it can return to NCAA Championship contention after landing two of the top recruits in this class, Nicholas Dunlap and Jonathan Griz.
Griz Monday-qualified for a Korn Ferry Tour event last season, but Dunlap has the heartier resume, winning the U.S. Junior Amateur this summer and placing second at both the AJGA Junior Players and Junior PGA this year. Dunlap, this year's AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year, is one of the longest players in junior golf, and as a third-grader he was a finalist for the 2013 NFL Punt, Pass and Kick. His girlfriend, Kynadie Adams, signed with Alabama’s women’s team this past week.
"I think he's one of the best junior players not just in this class but in a long time," Seawell said of Dunlap. "He's a young man who makes an immediate impact in the college game. ... He's always been a lifelong Alabama fan, but someone like that can go anywhere he wants."
Arizona State signed two elite talents, as well, getting Luke Potter, a top-70 amateur in the world and winner of last year's Maridoe Amateur, and Michael Mjaaseth from Norway. Virginia also got a pair of top-10 junior players in Benjamin James and Bryan Lee, who were both members of this year's U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team. James, of Milford, Conn., had verbally committed to UConn as an 11-year-old back in 2015 before changing his mind. He has won four straight events: the AJGA’s Ping Invitational and Junior Players Championship, the New England Junior Am and Northern Junior, which was a three-peat.
“Ben’s list of accomplishments is extensive, having been a golf prodigy for over 10 years," Virginia head coach Bowen Sargent said. "He is very gifted and has been for a long time. ... Ben has a nose for winning."
After a couple of down classes, Texas is back on the board with a loaded signing haul, led by South Africa's Christiaan Maas, the top-ranked player in this class, according to WAGR, at No. 40.
"Having coached Dylan Frittelli and Brandon Stone (two other South Africans), I am thrilled that Christiaan will be joining us as a Longhorn," Texas head coach John Fields said. "His WAGR ranking of Top 50 in the world is well-earned and eye catching."
Another marquee three-player signing class is Tennessee's, which features first-team AJGA Rolex All-American and Junior Ryder Cupper Caleb Surratt, plus Bruce Murphy and Evan Woosley-Reed. Surratt's father, Brent, is a former college baseball player and professional long driver who was ranked in top 5 of world long drive rankings for seven years.
"Caleb has certainly proven that he is one of, if not the very best player in the country with the championships he has won thus far in his career," Tennessee head coach Brennan Webb said. "We couldn't be more excited that Caleb was attracted to what our program had to offer him in regards to his ability to develop into an elite college golfer and beyond."
With the early signing period for the Class of 2022 officially in the books, here's a look at the top signings and classes:
1. Luke Potter, Arizona State
2. Caleb Surratt, Tennessee
3. Nicholas Dunlap, Alabama
4. Benjamin James, Virginia
5. Jonathan Griz, Alabama
6. Christiaan Maas, Texas
7. Filip Jakubcik, Arizona
8. Wells Williams, Vanderbilt
9. Luke Clanton, Florida State
10. Bryan Lee, Virginia
11. Michael Mjaaseth, Arizona State
12. Jonas Appel, Baylor
13. Jase Summy, Oklahoma
14. Cameron Tankersley, Ole Miss
15. Jack Bigham, Florida State
16. Carter Loflin, Georgia
17. Matthew Comegys, Texas Tech
18. Jaime Montojo, Texas A&M
19. Yannick Malik, Arizona
20. Jacob Sosa, Texas
21. Matthew Troutman, Oklahoma
22. Garrett Endicott, Mississippi State
22. Keaton Vo, Texas
23. Ruben Lindsay, Auburn
24. Ethan Evans, Duke
25. John Wild, Oklahoma State
1. Alabama: Nicholas Dunlap, Jonathan Griz
2. Arizona State: Luke Potter, Michael Mjaaseth
3. Texas: Christiaan Maas, Jacob Sosa, Keaton Vo
4. Virginia: Benjamin James, Bryan Lee
5. Tennessee: Caleb Surratt, Bruce Murphy, Evan Woosley-Reed
6. Arizona: Filip Jakubcik, Yannick Malik, Zachery Pollo
7. Florida State: Luke Clanton, Jack Bigham
8. Oklahoma: Jase Summy, Matthew Troutman, Jake Hopper
9. Vanderbilt: Wells Williams, John Broderick
10. Duke: Ethan Evans, William Love, Daniel Choi
1. Megha Ganne, Stanford
2. Paula Schulz-Hanssen, Arizona State
3. Amari Avery, USC
4. Huai-Chien Hsu, Texas
5. Anne-Sterre den Dunnen, Wake Forest
6. Shannon Tan, Texas Tech
7. Beth Coulter, Arizona State
8. Mia Sandtorv Lussand, South Carolina
9. Catherine Rao, Princeton
10. Michelle Zhang, SMU
11. Kelly Xu, Stanford
12. Catherine Park, USC
13. Nicole Gal, Ole Miss
14. Jacqueline Putrino, Florida State
15. Mackenzie Lee, SMU
16. Kynadie Adams, Alabama
17. Julia Misemer, Arizona
18. Grace Summerhays, Arizona State
19. Sophie Zhang-Murphy, Princeton
20. Patience Rhodes, Arizona State
21. Karoline Tuttle, Florida
22. Anika Varma, Oregon
23. Katie Cranston, Auburn
24. Lottie Woad, Florida State
25. Reagan Zibilski, Arkansas
1. Arizona State: Paula Schulz-Hanssen, Beth Coulter, Patience Rhodes, Grace Summerhays
2. Stanford: Megha Ganne, Kelly Xu
3. USC: Amari Avery, Catherine Park
4. Texas: Huai-Chien Hsu, Emily Odwin, Angela Heo
5. Princeton: Catherine Rao, Sophie Zhang-Murphy
6. Wake Forest: Anne-Sterre den Dunnen
7. SMU: Michelle Zhang, Mackenzie Lee
8. Alabama: Kynadie Adams, Taylor Kehoe
9. Florida State: Jacqueline Putrino, Lottie Woad, Katherine Cook
10. Ole Miss: Nicole Gal, Mollie Hardwick, Maddie May