Santiago Quirarte Signs NLI
Bloomington, Ind. - Indiana men's golf head coach Mike Mayer officially announced Wednesday that Santiago Quirarte has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend Indiana University in the fall of 2004.
A native of Queretaro, Mexico, Quirarte is currently the number one ranked junior in Mexico. On April 18, the reigning Mexican State Athlete of the Year finished second individually at the qualifying for the Junior Golf World Cup in San Jose, Costa Rica. Quirarte is the number one golfer representing the team from Mexico that will compete at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup at Bearspaw Country Club in Kyoto, Japan, from June 18-26.
"Obviously, we're thrilled to have Santiago join the IU family," said Mayer. "We're anxious to learn more about the Mexican culture and more about Santiago and his family. Santiago will be a great addition to our program."
Quirarte, a student at John F. Kennedy High School, plans to study business when he steps foot on the IU campus.
"Santiago is a consummate student-athlete," said Mayer. "As well as being a great athlete, he's a good student. He's the whole package. We look for recruits who can handle the demands of academics and athletics, and Santiago has the ability to do both."
Mayer caught a glimpse of Quirarte in person last December for the first time at the Orange Bowl International tournament in Miami. Quirarte tied for 16th in the elite field, and Mayer came away impressed with what he saw.
"When I was first saw Santiago, I really watched him closely and was very, very impressed with his golf swing. It's as natural a golf swing as I have seen," said Mayer. "His short game was outstanding, and his attitude was impeccable. I liked how Santiago handled himself on the golf course and how he maintained himself the entire tournament."
Additionally last season, Quirarte won 13 tournaments, including four National Junior Mexican events. He also represented Mexico on six international teams competing in U.S. Junior tournaments.
In December 2003, Quirarte became the first junior golfer ever invited to the prestigious Toro Abierto Mexicano tournament. This honor came on the heels of his victories at the Torneo de los 8 Mejores Match Play Championships in January 2003 and the National Mexican Junior Match Play Championships in February 2003.
Among other accomplishments, Quirarte finished ninth at the 2003 Mexican National Championships in a field of professional golfers. He also tied for ninth at the Boys Junior America's Cup in Las Vegas and tied for 10th at the Junior World Championships in San Diego in July 2003.
"Santiago has prepared himself to play competitive golf at the highest level," said Mayer. "He started playing golf four years ago and has really committed himself and wants to play golf for a living. He has a tremendous work ethic, passion and understands what it takes to be successful and is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to be successful. He's a class young man who will be ready to contribute when he arrives next fall."
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