The University of Minnesota Men's Golf team announced today that Genki Hirayama, Alex Gaugert, Colton Buege, Garrett Fotu, and Saul Menendez have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Gophers. All five players will be eligible to compete during the 2010 fall season.
"We are excited to add five quality golfers and students to the Golden Gopher golf program," said Minnesota Director of Golf Brad James. "We look forward to working with each player as they begin their collegiate careers at the University of Minnesota."
Hirayama joins the Gophers from Nagasaki, Japan. He played for Highland Park High School in 2009 while on the Rotary International Exchange Student Program. He medaled or co-medaled in eight of the nine tournaments he participated in. Also, he was the 2009 St. Paul City League champion and an individual qualifier for the Minnesota State High School meet. While living in Nagasaki, he registered a top-10 finish in the 2008 Kyushu Regional Amateur Tournament and a top-30 finish in the 2007 AIR Amateur Cup.
Gaugert comes to Gold Country from Lake Geneva, Wis., where he has been a member of the varsity golf team since his freshman year. He was the Conference Player of the Year as a freshman and selected to the Wisconsin Cup Team for the Wisconsin-Minnesota match play event. He was also selected to the Wisconsin Cup Team following his sophomore and junior seasons. Gaugert qualified for and finished sixth both years at the Wisconsin State High School Championship. He also garnered the Wisconsin Junior Masters title following his junior year.
Buege joins the Gophers from Rogers, Minn. and has earned five letters for Royals. He was named to the All-State team as a junior and was all-conference as a freshman, sophomore and junior and was also named to the All-State Academic team as a junior. To date, he has earned medalist honors in 10 high school tournaments.
This past summer Buege was the only high school golfer and the youngest to make the cut at the Minnesota State Open. He also participated in the Callaway Jr. World Golf Championship and was one of only 75 to participate in the Jr. PGA Championship at TPC River's Bend and took part in the Minnesota Jr. PGA Players' Tour Tournament of Champions, finishing third.
Fotu hails from Highland, Utah where he is a standout at Lone Peak High School. He won the Utah State Title as a junior in 2008 and finished in third his senior year. On top of his many accolades in high school, he also qualified for the 2008 United States Amateur.
Menendez joins the Gophers after spending one season at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn. He originally came to the United States from Gijon, Asturias, Spain where he was a six-time Spanish National Champion. At Gustavus, he finished tied for second at the Frank Wrigglesworth Blugold Invite and tied for 15th at the MIAC Men's Golf Championships.