Most of the athletes who compete in the Great Plains Athletic Conference come from the Midwest. So it's a little unusual that the GPAC's golfer of the year comes from another country. Morningside's Brandon Thompson, a freshman from England, won that honor on Friday.
In his first season at Morningside, Thompson has become the most distinguished golfer in Mustang history. With one of his friends already attending college in the US, Thompson decided to follow suit.
"I said to my parents, that's something I'd love to do," said Thompson. "I was at a loose end with what I wanted to do after college and I thought, what a better way to start college than in another country."
After joining the recruiting agency Pro Dream, it wasn't long until Thompson was courted by Morningside head golf coach Todd Sapp.
"We connected and I chose this college based on the coach and his attitude towards his team."
In just one season, Thompson set the Morningside career record for wins with six, the low individual score with a 5-under 67 and finished seventh or better in all his tournaments. To top it off, Thompson became just the second Mustang to qualify for the NAIA National Championship.
"I came over with no expectations whatsoever. I knew I could play golf but this season I kind of surprised myself. I knew it was in me. I was kind of proving to myself that I could do it."
Thompson credits his teammates with making the transition seamless. Even during practices they engage in friendly banter.
"Whenever I say something or hit a good shot, and I beat someone that's on my team they always go, 'who won the war?'. I have no answer to that, so I just have to eat humble pie and be like, OK."
The NAIA Championships are in Salem, Oregon, May 22nd through the 25th. The GPAC team champions from Northwestern College will compete as well.
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