Akers ink a pair of signers, including the January addition

DENTON – UNT Women’s Golf Coach Michael akers announced two additions to her schedule on Wednesday as the sixth-year coach added a UIL State Champion and an Australian who will look to make an immediate impact upon her arrival in January.

The Mean Green will add Australian golfer Sakura Sugiyama in January and Granbury product Mason Lewis in August 2022 after she looks to defend her Class 5A State Championship. Lewis is also the sister of former women’s golf alum Madison Lewis.

“I am delighted to sign Sakura and Mason today”, UNT head coach Michael akers noted. “The most important trait I am looking for now is work ethic. In order for our program to be competitive nationally and continue to beat the very tough competition we play in, we need the players to put in the time. Most of our players are trying to play on the LPGA Tour so they put in hours and hours. Lauren (Cox), Audrey (Tan) and Patty (Sinolungan) were the role models for this attribute. Our two new ones Coming this year, Chandler (Browning) and Ellie (Roth), both show me that they want to work too. Ultimately, work pays and good things happen. ”

Sugiyama will join the Mean Green for the spring season and has extensive athletic experience having competed nationally in Australia in both swimming and track and field / cross country before focusing on golf in a collegiate fashion. In the pool, she was the Queensland State Champion in the 100-meter butterfly and highlighted her running career by winning two back-to-back Cross Country State Championships.

On the course, Sugiyama won the South Australian amateur stroke play championship in 2021 and finished third in match play. She was also among the top 20 caps for the Australian Women’s Order of Merit 2021 and was ranked No.4 in the Australian Girls’ Order of Merit 2020.

Lewis will come to UNT in August for the 2022-2023 season after attempting to defend his UIL Class 5A Individual State Championship in the spring. Last year, she won the Texas Girls Coaches Association Golf Athlete of the Year 5A-6A honors and was named to the All-State Team First Team after winning numerous honors earlier in his career, such as Freshman of the Year. in 2019. Lewis also qualified for the World Junior Championships, where she placed in the top 50 in San Diego over the summer. This fall, she won two high school events.

Coach Akers on Sakura Sugiyama …

“Sakura is the first Australian I signed. She has worked with an amazing instructor named Nancy Harvey since she was a young girl. Nancy has played on the LPGA Tour for many years so we all have them. two a common goal of helping Sakura get to the circuit.. I know Sakura is 100% committed to spending time. I love that Sakura has an athletic background and has been successful in d ‘other sports like swimming and track and field. She now beats par on the golf course and I expect her to shine in our program. “

Coach Akers on Mason Lewis …

“Mason was just meant to play for UNT. I’ve been watching her and her progress for quite some time. Last year she really took her game to the next level. I was so excited that she won the 5A Championship in the Texas State last spring. It’s a very big deal to win the state of Texas. The NCAA time-out was still in effect so I couldn’t watch. Mason is also slow and is very athletic. She is the perfect fit for me and this program. Mason comes from an amazing family and I am delighted to be able to train him for four years. “

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