Tarleton Men’s Golf adds first athletes since program restart
STEPHENVILLE — For the first time in over 25 years, the Tarleton men's golf team has added brand new members to its roster.
Tarleton announced this week that Max Bengtsson, Johnathan Kittle and Cristobal Sepulveda have all joined the program, a 2022 restart of Texan men's golf that hasn't played since 1995.
"I'm excited to have these three young men as the first freshman class of this program in three decades," men's golf head coach Chance Cain said. "I have no doubt that they will lay a solid foundation to help build this program to the level it needs to be highly competitive in NCAA Division I golf. They all have different strengths to bring to the table, and I can't wait to hit the ground running with them this fall."
Bengtsson comes to Stephenville from Halmstad, Sweden. He recently attended school at Aspero Idrottsgymnasium in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he played three years of varsity golf. He was a member of the Swedish National Junior Team Championship team in 2021, the Ringenäs Golfklubb Junior program.
Bengtsson owns a +2.1 handicap with a scoring average of 71.8. His tournament low score was a 66. He's the ninth ranked player in Sweden's National U18 ranks, No. 60 in the U21 ranking. He won the Hofgardens Junior Open with rounds of 72-66.
"Max comes to us as one of the top U18 players in Sweden with an exceptional resume and work ethic," Cain said. "He is fundamentally sound throughout his game and I know he will make a positive impact for this program."
Bengtsson will pursue a degree in business at Tarleton.
Kittle, who goes by Jonny, joins the team from Saint James School in Grimsby, England. He also attended Franklin Sixth Form College for two years.
One of the most impressive performance for Kittle in his established junior career was finishing seventh in the English U18 Championship at Farnham Golf Club with a score of -2.
Kittle won the Lincolnshire U18 Woodrofe Walter at Belton Park Golf Club with a +1 finish, scores of 72-71. He also turned in three top-five finishes in tournaments across England.
"Johnathan is a very talented player out of England who has a ton of fire power and has competed at a high level across the UK," Cain said. "His ceiling is very high and I can't wait to see what his future entails for this program."
Kittle will study a finance major at Tarleton.
Sepulveda arrives to Texas from Santiago, Chile, where he attended Colegio San Anselmo. He was a well-known golfer in the country, earning the No. 1 ranking in Chile at his age group for six straight years. He competed at the 2018 Junior Open at St. Andrews. He also participated in the Junior World Golf Championship and the South American Amateur.
In high school, he received an academic excellence award and was named the best athlete in school in 2019.
"Cristobal comes in with a ton of experience worldwide playing in top junior events with multiple top-10 finishes all over South America and the U.S.," Cain said. "He is a talented young man from Chile who is an incredible ball striker and will be a fantastic addition to our program."
Sepulveda will pursue a business degree at Tarleton.
These are just the first three additions to the restarted men's golf program that will add more athletes to the roster in the coming months.