NORMAN, Okla. University of Oklahoma men’s golf coach Jim Ragan announced today the signing of three players to National Letters of Intent. Joining the Sooners for the 2006-2007 season will be Ben Blundell (Rowlett, Texas), Eric Durbin (Houston, Texas), and Jesse Schutte (Florence, Ore.).
“I am very happy with the 2006 recruiting class,” Ragan said. “They are all very accomplished players with outstanding character. I am looking forward to having Ben, Eric and Jesse join our team. I expect great things out of each one of them at The University of Oklahoma.”
Durbin established himself as the best junior player in South Texas by recently being named the 2005 South Texas PGA Junior Player of the Year. In 2004 he qualified for the First Tee Pro-Am at Pebble Beach and won the Houston Golf Association Fall Open. This past year he won the EDS Bryon Nelson Championship and the 2005 AJGA at Kingwood, and finished seventh at the AJGA Justin Leonard. His play earned him second place in the points standing of the Texas Legends Junior Tour. He has also had success as a team player, winning the 2005 Texas State Team Championship with Cypress Creek High School.
“Eric is a very good player,” Ragan said. “He possesses the fundamentals and golf savvy that are so valuable in our game. I am excited about having Eric join our team.”
Schutte, who attends Siuslaw High School, heads to Norman as one of the top 20 junior golfers in the country overall and a top-10 recruit in the class of 2006, according to the most recent Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings. Out of the 203 tournaments he has entered, Schutte has won an astonishing 106, including the 2005 Oregon Junior Golf Tournament of Champions. He is a two-time Oregon high school state champion and was a member of Oregon’s Junior America’s Cup-winning team in 2003 and 2005. Schutte qualified for the 2004 Oregon Classic on the PGA Nationwide Tour at age 16. This summer he finished third at the National Big I Insurance Youth Classic and eighth at the Junior World’s in San Diego.
“Jesse is one of the best junior golfers in the country,” Ragan said. “He has a ton of ability and the poise to go with it. He has the opportunity to become a real impact player in college.”
Blundell has proven himself as one of the best junior players in North Texas over the past several years. In 2003 he claimed the Dallas Junior City Championship, and in 2004 was named the North Texas PGA Junior Player of the Year. This past summer he won the Dallas sectional qualifier for the USGA Junior Amateur, firing rounds of 69 and 64. He also won the Ben Hogan Classic and was named the Texas Legends Junior Tour Player of the Year for 2005. Ben attends Rowlett High School.
“Ben is a strong player that really hits the ball hard,” Ragan said. “He has a tremendous upside and will fit into our program very nicely.”