Sports

Jonson makes it official: he’s a future Rebel

Carl Jonson will play for the UNLV men’s golf team next fall. - John Becerra Jr./Staff Photo
Carl Jonson will play for the UNLV men’s golf team next fall.
— image credit: John Becerra Jr./Staff Photo

With his parents Ed and Susanne, his coach Tom Zuzelski, athletic director Annette Duvall and principal Brent Petersen among the friends and teammates, Carl Jonson officially signed his letter of intent to play for the University of Las Vegas men’s golf team on Wednesday.

“I’m pumped,” he said. “There was no way I was going to back out of my verbal. I’ve been set on going there for a while.”

The signing of the letter ends a hectic recruiting period for Jonson, as numerous Division I colleges were after him for their team. The senior said that Michigan, Texas, Vanderbilt and the University of San Diego were after him, with UW, Texas A&M, Oregon, Wake Forest and UNLV the finalists.

Jonson said he chose UNLV because of their success in cultivating golfers that have gone on to success on various professional golf tours. The UNLV media guide dedicates eight pages highlighting the success of golfers such as Adam Scott, Chris Riley, Chad Campbell, Puyallup native Ryan Moore and Skip Kendall. All of them had success on the PGA Tour.

“Most of the players that have played at UNLV are on the tour now,” he said. “That’s my dream is to play on the PGA Tour, so I just looked for the best opportunity (to get) there.”

Despite his success in high school and amateur golf, he said he wasn’t thinking about trying to get on the Tour straight out of high school.

“You don’t see that too much,” he said. “You see a couple of guys (make it), but (later on) they all struggle.

“College is the way for golf,” he continued. “It all depends on how your college career turns out. A lot of guys will go one and done or three and out. We’ll see what happens.”

The Rebels wrapped up their fall season recently with top five finishes in 12 tournaments this season. They are looking to make their 22nd straight NCAA tournament appearance in the spring.

Jonson said he feels he can get on the traveling team next season.

“Last year they had a real strong year – they were (ranked in the) top 15, top 20 in the nation – but this year they’re slipping a bit,” Jonson said. “They’re real young, so I’m hoping I can step in right away and contribute – if not all the time, then most of the time.”

Zuzelski said Jonson has a great shot to make a contribution right out of the gate.

“He’s a great kid – he’s got a good head on his shoulders,” Zuzelski said. “He’s got a great athletic work ethic. Scholastically, he’s got a great work ethic there and it shows when you graduate from somewhere like Bainbridge Island.”

Now all that’s left for Jonson is to stay on track to graduate and work on his game to get ready for some high school tournaments in the spring and hopefully bring home a state title in May.

“We had a real good season,” he said. “We’re hoping to make a run at state.”

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