MARTIN, Tenn. – Jerry Carpenter, the head golf coach at The University of Tennessee at Martin, announced Austin Swafford of Gallatin and Gavin Shellnut of Franklin have signed National Letters of Intent and Ohio Valley Conference Financial Aid Agreements to play golf for the Skyhawks beginning in the fall of 2013.
“Both of these young men excel in the classroom, are very brioght and possess leadership skills for the future,” Carpenter said. “They both have solid backgrounds in golf and are the types of individuals who will fit into our program for the future.”
Swafford will graduate from Gallatin High School this May. He finished first in the 2012 Golf Week Junior Tour; was named to the 2012 All-State Boys Team; finished fifth in the 2012 TSSAA Class-AAA State Tournament; was a three-time regional champion; and was the 2012 semifinalist at the Schooldays Tournament.
In addition, Swafford received the 2012 USJGT award for excellence in play and academics; he was second in the 2012 AAU national championship; shot a low round of 65 in the 2012 PGA Championship; was a four-time first team all-county selection; collected eight United States Junior Golf Tour victories; and is a four-time USJGT champion at Harpeth Hills Golf Course in Nashville.
“Austin grew up on the golf course where he was taught by his father, Larry, who was a long-time teaching professional in Middle Tennessee,” Carpenter said. “UT Martin is extremely lucky to secure Austin’s services for collegiate golf.
“Austin is an outstanding golfer, a top student and a good person,” Carpenter said. “He has an excellent golf course demeanor and a great golf course sense of how to play the game.”
Shellnut, whose brother Tyler currently plays golf for UT Martin, is a two-sport athlete at Battle Ground Academy. He also plays basketball.
“Gavin has played golf since junior high and has played on several junior tours with quality finishes for the past four years,” Carpenter said.
Shellnut is a two-time all-state golfer. He finished fifth in the state as a junior and third this past fall as a senior. He tied for first place in the regional tournament as a freshman and has been a member of the BGA varsity since he was an eighth grader.
As a junior Shellnut helped the Wildcats finished second in the state tournament.
“Gavin is extremely long off the tee and that makes for a shorter shot into the green,” Carpenter said. “His golf skills will improve when all his time is committed to golf. He has a great attitude, a strong work ethic and will be a perfect fit for our program.”
This past spring Carpenter and the Skyhawks finished fifth in the OVC Tournament.
“These two players possess the skills and work ethic to help elevate our program to the next level of the OVC,” Carpenter said.