EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE golf Head Coach Derrick Brown will add four freshmen to his roster for the 2019-2020 season.
Tanner Collins (Kansas City, Missouri), Luke Ludwig (Effingham, Illinois), Connor Neighbors (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Anthony Ruthey (Port Byron, Illinois) have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Cougars.
"I'm excited about this group of freshman," Brown said. "They are all very good players, but more importantly they are really good people who all come from some great families. I know they are all excited to get here next fall, and I can't wait to watch them grow and help continue the success we have had at SIUE."
All four are profiled below:
Tanner Collins, Liberty North High School
Collins will complete his senior year at Liberty North High School in the spring…Twice earned All-State honors...Three-time All-Conference and All-District selection... Fourth-ranked player in the 2018 class in state of Missouri according to National Junior Golf Scoreboard…Finished seventh at 2018 Missouri Junior with rounds of 73-70…Member of Southern Cup Team for Missouri this past summer with current SIUE golfer Brooks Jungbluth.
Brown on Collins: "Tanner is a big, strong guy who has challenged himself with a good junior schedule," Brown said. "He has the length for the college game and I think his best golf is ahead of him. I'm excited to watch him play this spring during his senior year and then help us out next fall."
Luke Ludwig, St. Anthony's High School
Finished third at the 2018 Illinois State High School Tournament while leading St. Anthony's to a team championship…Won his IHSA Regional Tournament junior and senior year…Qualified for the 2018 United States Junior Boys Amateur at Baltusrol Golf Club after shooting 68 and winning the qualifier at St. Clair Country Club…One of two from the state of Illinois to qualify for that event in 2018…Also helped St. Anthony's win the 2017 1A basketball title as a Junior.
Brown on Ludwig: "Luke is a great athlete who will transition well to college golf," Brown said. "He's got a good golf swing and has been coached well. He's also been a part of some championship teams that I think always helps the mindset. I'm excited to see him succeed as a Cougar."
Connor Neighbors- Washington High School
Fourth-ranked player in Iowa according to National Junior Golf Scoreboard…Two-time Iowa All-State…Finished with a 72.22 scoring average in his senior year…Placed third in the Iowa Junior in summer of 2018 with rounds of 68-72…Won the 2016 John Deere Junior Open which included a record-breaking 64…Placed 10th as a sophomore and seventh as a Junior at Iowa State High School Tournament.
Brown on Neighbors: "Connor has gained some valuable experience playing in some good events throughout his junior career," Brown said. "He has grown up at a club that has produced some really good junior talent. He has a wonderful mindset and golf swing and his composure on the course is fantastic. Those traits will lead to a successful career at SIUE."
Anthony Ruthey, Riverdale High School
Won six times at junior events in summer of 2018…Won five Prep Tour Events and also the State Farm Youth Classic, averaging 71.8 in those events…Won his IHSA Sectional tournament as senior…Finished ninth at Illinois State High School Tournament as sophomore, runner-up as a junior and fifth as a senior…High school team also claimed first place as junior and finished runner up as senior.
Brown on Ruthey: "Anthony has played in a lot of events and has shown that he can win golf tournaments," Brown said. "He really understands the game and will help our team right away next fall. I love his competitiveness, and I am excited to see him transition to college golf."
The Cougars earned a team championship and three total top-five finishes in the fall portion of the schedule. SIUE will return to the course in February for the Loyola Intercollegiate in Goodyear, Arizona.