Dec. 11, 2012
HOUSTON - Emily Gilbreth, Kelli Rollo, Papito Gonzalez and Matthew Scobie became the newest members of the University of Houston Golf programs when they recently signed National Letters of Intent, Director of Golf Jonathan Dismuke announced Tuesday.
All four will compete as freshmen during the 2013-14 season. With their signings, Gilbreth and Rollo became the first members of the Houston Women's Golf team. The Cougars recently added the program with Gilbreth and Rollo competing as individuals in 2013-14 and on a full team in 2014-15.
"We were looking for young women that wanted to take the responsibility of being the foundation of the program. They are blazing a trail for us," Dismuke said. "We had to have the right type of young woman, and that player is not easy to find. Both Emily and Kelli want to meet the challenge head on and put the program on the map."
On the men's side, Dismuke said he was confident that Gonzalez and Scobie would be able to join the Cougars and challenge immediately for playing time, an impressive feat on a team that recently finished with four top-three team finishes during the fall campaign.
"We are trying to add and continue to bring in men that fit our mold. We put more stock in ability and people who buy in to what we are doing," Dismuke said. "Both Matthew and Papito have tremendous physical ability and want to be a part of our program."
Gilbreth, who was ranked No. 91 nationally by GolfWeek, brings an award-winning resume to the newly created Women's program out of Houston's Bellaire High. As a junior in 2011, she won the Class 5A Region III championship and the IJGT Dupage Classic.
Playing as the Cardinals' No. 1 player, she helped lead Bellaire High to its first-ever appearance at the state tournament. It was also believed to be the farthest that a Houston ISD golf team has ever competed.
At the state tournament, Gilbreth birdied four of her last 11 holes for an opening-round 69 and finished in a tie for sixth at 145.
"Emily is a very talented player. She has a lot of speed with a great swing and will be a great addition to our program."
Rollo joins the Cougars after an award-winning career at Barbers Hill High. During the recent fall season, she helped lead the Lady Eagles to a pair of team championships and was individual medalist at Texaco Country Club in mid-September.
This summer, she earned three tournament wins on the Junior Tour, including a title at Redstone Golf Club, here future home with Houston Golf.
As a junior during the 2011-12 season, she finished third at her own Barbers Hill Invitational and led the squad to the team title. The Mont Belvieu, Texas, native finished 11th at the Region III-4A Tournament and guided the team to a fourth-place showing at that postseason event.
"Kelli has had a successful high school career and has the ability to develop into a outstanding NCAA Division I player," Dismuke said. "She fit the mold of what we were looking for our first student-athletes."
Gonazalez, who was the No. 8 player out of Texas by Junior Golf Scoreboard, was an award-winning prep golfer at McAllen's Memorial High. A two-time qualifier for the Class 5A State Tournament entering his senior season, he finished 10th at the 2011 event.
He earned All-District honors in golf as a freshman, sophomore and junior. As a freshman, he was named the District 30-5A Newcomer of the Year after winning the district title in his first prep season and then winning in sudden death at the Region IV Class 5A Championships at Palmview Golf Course in his hometown.
An all-around athlete, Gonzalez - whose given first name is Juan - was the starting point guard for the Mustangs' basketball team.
"Papito may be the best all-around athlete we have signed here. He has been a two-sport star in high school, so he will have the ability to come in and concentrate on only one sport," Dismuke said. "With his transition to focusing on one sport and his athletic abilities, he has the chance to develop into great college player."
Scobie, who is the No. 1 Canadian by Junior Golf Scoreboard, became the fourth Canadian among the Cougars, joining current freshmen Blair Hamilton and Emmett Oh and men's associate head coach Chris Hill.
Scobie, who joins the Cougars out of Ajax High in Ajax, Ontario, Canada, advanced to the semifinals of the USGA Junior Amateur earlier this year. Tied through 18 holes in the quarterfinals, Scobie defeated Maverick McNealy on the second extra hole with a par. He became the first Canadian to advance that far at that tournament since Richard Scott reached the finals in 2001.
He also posted a fifth-place finish at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship and earned a second-place finish at the CJGA Canadian International Junior College. During the summer, he was named a member of Team Canada's Development squad.
"Matt is tremendously talented. He has a lot of speed and is a great putter," Dismuke said. "We expect big things from Matt during his career at the University of Houston."