Golf’s international freshmen adjust on campus

Top Left: Mathias Schjoelberg, Top Right: Stan Gautier, Bottom Left: Brandon Cloete, Bottom Right: Noemi Jimenez. (Photos courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics)

Every year, ASU’s constantly growing student body welcomes incoming freshmen from all parts of the world.

The Sun Devil golf program is loaded with diversity on both men’s and women’s teams.

International freshmen Mathias Schjoelberg, Stan Gautier, Brandon Cloete and Noemi Jimenez all began their collegiate careers this season, but each athlete has made several adjustments to life as a student at ASU.

 

Mathias Schjoelberg

Baerum, Norway

 

ASU continues its strong presence in Scandinavia with Mathias Schjoelberg.

Hailing from Baerum, Norway, Schjoelberg accomplished much in his junior career. He has been competing for his country’s national team since he was 13 years old.

Despite being thousands of miles away Schjoelberg has had his sights set on ASU for a long time.

“It has always been the school I wanted to go to,” Schjoelberg said, “It was the first school that came up to me. I really liked it here and everything is so perfect.”

While Schjoelberg is certainly happy to be here in the nice warm weather, it is clear that the transition included some difficulties.

“The language (is tough,)” said Schoelberg. “Trying to get all of what the teachers say. That’s kind of hard to start, but I guess I’m getting used to it.”

As far as golf goes, it seems the freshman hasn’t lost a step. He has been one of ASU’s most consistent players through its first two tournaments and was the only Sun Devil to not shoot a round over 75 in the team’s last tournament, The Tucker Invitational.

 

Stan Gautier

Paris, France

 

If there is an ideal way to start a collegiate golf career, Stan Gautier might have found it.

The ASU men’s golfer from France shot a four-under-par 68 in his first round as a Sun Devil. So far it is the best round of any ASU golfer this season and was tied for the lowest round in the Tucker Invitational.

The transition to collegiate life also came easy to Gautier who has enjoyed his time here so far and is looking to graduate with a degree in business.

“It’s great I love it here,” Gautier said. “You can go to class and still train hard at golf and back home that’s just not possible. It either you start school or you play golf.”

One of his favorite aspects is the camaraderie at ASU. Gautier pointed to the school spirit in particular as what makes ASU stand apart from other universities.

“At the student orientation they said ‘ASU is a family’ and you feel like every school says that,” Gautier said. “Then you spend a few weeks here and you feel like it is a real family. Everybody is taking the weight off each other’s back and taking care of each other.”

 

Brandon Cloete

Knysna, South Africa

 

While he can’t play on the team this year, Cloete still feels like part of the team and with six new freshmen on this year’s team, he will have his chance to compete down the road.

“I’m really loving the team chemistry at the moment,” Cloete said. “Coming in with five freshmen is really nice because we are going to spend the next four years together.”

Cloete came to Tempe because he wanted to get the entire college experience that ASU could offer more than any other school.

“I wanted to come here and see the football, basketball and all of the other sports,” Cloete said. “Also because of the facilities, it was the biggest school to have an interest in me. Everything around here is just incredible.

“Coach Lein, I really enjoyed my time with him and he was a bit of a seller for me and from the other schools I visited. I really wasn’t that impressed with the teams.”

 

Noemi Jimenez

Malaga, Spain

Competing on one of the best teams in the nation during freshman year is no small task.

So far Jimenez has performed admirably, finishing tied for 20th and tied for 43rd in her first two tournaments.

What makes the situation even more incredible is that this is the first time Jimenez has been in the U.S.

“I just came here to visit the university last November,” Jimenez said, “It’s really different. It’s another continent, another culture, but I really like it.”

As one would expect, it took Jimenez some time to adjust to the everyday college life, possibly even more so then the average college student because her family was so far away.

“It’s difficult because you are away from home and sometimes you are homesick,” Jimenez said. “The first two weeks were stressful, with everything, but now that I’ve started college and everything’s going on, I will be prepared for the year.

While it took her a while to get used to the university, Jimenez seemed to fit in to the team almost immediately, despite being the only true freshman.

“I was really nervous at first because I didn’t know the team except for Giulia (Molinaro) and Laura (Blanco),” Jimenez said, “But I just love my team. They are really nice people.”

Reach the reporter at jjmckelv@asu.edu

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