RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University Golf Coach Matt Ball has inked three recruits for 2011-12, the school announced Wednesday.
The Rams, hot off a second place finish at the Colonial Athletic Association Championship in April, will add juniors Marc Dobias (Lausanne, Switzerland) and Adrian Parada (A Coruna, Spain), as well as freshman Simon Taylor (Germany) to the mix in time for the 2011 fall campaign.
Dobias was originally a Baylor University recruit who spent the past two seasons at Midland Community College in Midland, Tex.
Prior to joining the Chaparrals, Dobias enjoyed a wildly successful junior career in Switzerland. Dobias won two under-14 championships, two under-18 titles, two Swiss Amateur Match Play championships, a Swiss Amateur Stroke Play crown and appeared in four European Tour Events. He has helped Midland reach the NJCAA Division I Championship the last two seasons and is on pace to complete his two-year degree at the school in just three semesters.
"Marc Dobias has a tremendous amount of tournament experience, having won seven or eight national championships, played in four European Tour events. Some people may compare Switzerland's size to that of a state here in the U.S., but if you give me a kid that's won seven or eight state championships, I'll take them, because they're good."
Taylor is an accomplished amateur, but Ball says that because he originally hails from England, he is not eligible for the German amateur rankings. Ball believes that allowed Taylor to fly under the radar.
"His dad is a teaching pro over there," Ball said. "He has an amazing short game and background in short game and he should come here and immediately be a very strong contributor."
This year, Taylor fired an amateur course record 67 at the par 72 Golf Club Habsberg. The previous year, he placed third at the Bavarian Championships (75-72-78) and won junior and club titles at Golf Club Reichswald. When he was 17, Taylor won the Reichswald Junior Club Championship. When he was 13, he was the Bavarian U14 State Champion. He placed second in that event the following season.
Parada has been dominant in his home state of Galicia, earning numerous top-10 finishes. In 2008, he captured the Galacian Junior Tour Championship (71-71), as well as the Junior Hercules Golf Club title (73-71). He posted two other tournament victories that year, as well as five additional top-five finishes. In 2009, he won the Hercules Golf Club and State Rivalry crowns.
In 2010, while playing a limited schedule of amateur events, Parada placed second at the Audi-Volkswagon Amateur Tour stop (72-70). He also recorded third place showings at the El Negralejo Invitational (69-72) and the Golden Week Invitational (70-71-70).
"Adrian came to Campbell University in the professional golf management program not really knowing how the system worked here for athletics in the United States. He's a very good player who played against some very good state and national competition in Spain," Ball said. "He's extremely anxious to get back into competitive golf. He's a really good player with a tremendous background in competitive golf. I think he's going to sneak up and surprise a lot of people."