UA Linksters sign South African star
FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas women’s golf team inked one of the biggest signees in program history welcoming Kelli Shean from Cape Town, South Africa, Monday. "Kelli is by far the most decorated athlete out of high school that I’ve signed in my career as a head coach," said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. "Her international experience will help her create an immediate impact as a freshman for us next year. It’s a good day for the program and a great next step to sign a player of Kelli’s caliber." Shean’s experience and accolades are many and varied. Some of her highlights include a seventh place finish at the World Team Amateur Championship and the number two ranking in all of South Africa. Shean has made the cut in four professional events on the Ned Bank Women’s Tour where she posted seventh place and 13th place finishes. In addition, she toured the country as one of six women on the South African squad. Shean captured the 2006 Gauteng Match Play title defeating a pair of golfers ranked ahead of her in the country’s national standings. In 2005, Shean won the Ernie Els Junior Tour Order of Merit, an award based on year-long accomplishments, and represented South Africa winning two silver medals at The Spirit International event competing against former Lady Razorback Amanda McCurdy in Texas. Shean also won the South African Amateur Match Play title and was the Amateur Stoke Play runner-up that year. "Kelli is just a joy to talk to and be around," said Hester. "Her experience should give her the confidence to make a smooth transition to collegiate golf and I think she’ll quickly become one of the team’s leaders. Kelli turned down a couple of very well-established programs (Duke and Ohio State) to become a Lady Razorback and she and her family are very excited about the opportunity that awaits." Shean currently plays at Westlake Golf Club where she has a plus-three handicap. Her career best round of 66 came at the King David Golf Club in 2004 and she has posted several career rounds in the 60’s. Shean is the youngest of four children to Stephen and Dianne Shean of Cape Town, South Africa. She has an older sister, Desray and older brothers Gary and Trevor. For more information about Arkansas golf, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.