HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State men's golf has added three transfer student-athletes to its squad for the 2017-18 season, head coach Brandt Kieschnick announced on Wednesday.
The trio will bolster a squad that has captured the Southland Conference championship in 2013-14 and 2014-15 before taking third each of the last two seasons. The 2016-17 Bearkats carded four top-five finishers including besting a pair of top-25 teams in a runner-up result at the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational.
Adam Strom comes to Huntsville from Texas Tech as a graduate transfer. Austen Christiansen transferring after playing at BYU and Levi Valadez joins after spending time at Kansas State.
Adam Strom – Senior
QUICK NOTES: Texas Tech - Graduate Transfer
At Texas Tech: 2014-15 season carded a 73.3 stroke average highlighted by a 22nd at Lone Star Invitational firing -2 under 214 . . . t-2nd at Chaps Invitational with rounds of 68-72-69 (-7) . . . Injured for 2013-14 Season and most of 2014-15 Season.
Amateur: played 7 events on Swedish Professional Nordea Tour Future Series as an Amateur and posted a 73.56 scoring average highlighted by t-4th finish at the Hovas Open with rounds of 68-66 (-6).
Before Texas Tech: Was a member of the Swedish National Team and was a member of the Swedish Team that won the prestigious 2012 European Team Championship. . .Won the 2012 Hovas Open Presented by QSEC . . . 2nd place at Isaberg Open in 2012 . . 2nd place at 2012 Skandia Junior Boys.
Coach Kieschnick on Adam Strom...
“Adam is a fantastic player and is very mature. He was one of the best junior players out of Sweden in his class and represented his country at the highest level. Adam comes from a great golf program at Texas Tech under Coach Sands who is a good friend. I'm excited to have Adam join us for his last year and help us in our pursuit to win the Conference and National championships.”
Austen Christiansen – Junior
QUICK NOTES: Transfer-BYU
2015-16 Season: Played in 9 events as a freshman and carded a solid 73.52 Stroke average . . . highlighted by 1st place at BYU Ping Cougar Classics firing rounds of 68-69-68 (-11) for 1st Division 1 Win.
2016-17 Season: Carded a 74.33 Scoring average in 3 events . . . t-9th at Stockton Pacific Invitational with rounds of 69-73-69 (-2).
Amateur Golf: Competed in 2016 Southern Amateur firing rounds of 69-71-75-71 to a t-20 finish . . . t-33rd at 2016 Southwestern Amateur with rounds of 74-73-74-67 . . .t-53rd at 2017 Southwestern Amateur with rounds of 72-72-70-79 . . . shot 73 to qualify for 2017 Southern Amateur.
Junior Golf: Played in numerous AJGA, Legends Tour and Texas Junior Golf Tour events . . . was, also, TAPPS 1st Team All-State Quarterback in 2014-15 Season.
Coach Kieschnick on Austen Christiansen…
“Austen comes to SHSU with great credentials and is great kid. He won a Division 1 event in his freshman year at BYU and has played numerous collegiate events in a very competitive program. Austen was a great athlete in high school and played several sports at a high level. He's a competitor first which is most important. We are fortunate to have him join us and we look forward to having him compete for us to win Championships.”
Levi Valadez – Sophomore
San Antonio, TX
Quick Notes: Transfer – Kansas State
2016-17 Season: Competed in 9 events in Freshman Year at Kansas State carding a 75.33 Scoring average . . . highlighted by season best finish t-15th at Old Waverly with rounds of 72-70 (-2).
Amateur Golf: Finished 2nd at 2017 Texas Amateur firing rounds of 69-70-69-70.
Junior Golf: Came into college ranked #14 in the nation in 2016 class and ranked #5 in Texas for the 2016 Class . . . Captured back-to-back wins in major events by bringing home the 2016 AJGA Patrick Reed Invitational firing rounds of 66-70-71 (-9) and following it up the next week winning the prestigious 2016 Byron Nelson Junior 69-66-72 (-6) . . . Levi qualified for two U.S. Junior Amateurs (2014, 2015) and collected 4 top 10 finishes in AJGA Events . . . Also, a High School standout at Alamo Heights, Levi holds the school record with lowest round – 63 . . . He finished in the top 4 at 5A State High School Championship both in Junior and Senior years . . . Won 6 High School events, was a 3-Time All-Regional Selection and was named to the San Antonio Express Super Team in his Senior Year.
Coach Kieschnick on Levi Valadez…
“Levi is a fine, young man and was one of the best players in the country coming out of high school in 2016. He had a great summer winning some big events leading into his college career. Levi is a solid player that will fit into our system well here at SHSU. He plays the game very efficiently, doesn't make a lot of mistakes, is mentally strong and knows how to shoot under par scores in tournaments. We are very fortunate to have him join us and looking forward to him contributing to our goal of winning tournaments throughout the season and, ultimately, the Southland Conference and National Championship.”