Brady Marshall recalled he was playing in an IGA Junior tournament last summer, and Tim Alexander showed up to watch some of his round.
Following his round, the Seymour senior and the University of Saint Francis coach began talking about Marshall’s future plans concerning golf.
Marshall said his goal was to play college golf, and last week he took the first step toward making that a reality by signing to play at the Fort Wayne school.
“I liked the school,” Marshall said. “They play two great golf courses, and I really liked that aspect and kind of followed everything from there. I visited a few places and decided St. Francis was the best fit academically and athletically.”
Saint Francis is an NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) school and is a member of the Crossroads League, which is made up of schools from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
Alexander said he thinks Marshall will fit in well with his team.
“He’s consistent,” Alexander said. “Brady’s pretty even keel. He doesn’t get too far ahead of himself. When I started watching him play, he was a couple under par, and then just had a couple bad holes and leveled it out.
“There is definitely some talent there. Obviously, it comes down to the short game, and that is one of the things I specialize on up there in Fort Wayne, and we’ll see if we can get him to the next level.”
Marshall said he thinks he improved his game by playing in the IGA (Indiana Golf Association) tournaments in his spare time.
“I think the IGA events are almost more competitive than the high school season,” Marshall said. “In high school, you have everyone playing, and in IGA events it’s the best of the best, so to compete and do well in those, it’s a big step in preparing my game for the next level.”
This past summer, Marshall won an IGA event at Cascades in Bloomington, placed second in another tournament and had two third-place finishes.
“It was a pretty successful summer, I thought,” he said. “I have good distance, but accuracy is a question on certain days,” he said of his tee shots. I need to improve my short game around the greens. I switched irons during the summer so I’m still trying to figure those out. My putting is up and down.”
Marshall, who is 6-foot-3, said he’s played golf for years.
“I started playing golf competitively in middle school,” he said. “I have pictures of my playing with plastic clubs when I was 3-feet tall. I think my height definitely helps with my distance. With my arm length I get a lot of motion, which is probably the reason why I’m not as accurate.”
His lowest score at Shadowood in Seymour, his home course, is 36.
“My highlight of (last) season was breaking the school record with a 67 at St. Anne’s in Jennings County,” he said.
He recalled he shot 77 in the sectional at the Indiana University course and also had that score in the regional at Covered Bridge.
“The ultimate goal as a senior is to advance to the state tournament,” Marshall said. “It’s very tough to accomplish that as an individual. We have a very young team, so our goal is to advance to regional.
“I just enjoy the fact that it’s all on you. You don’t have to depend on your teammates. It comes from you, and you have control over your game. I think that’s what I like about it, that you’re in total control.”
The Cougars play their home matches at Autumn Ridge Golf Club, and Cherry Hill Golf Club, both Four Star golf clubs in Northern Indiana.
Alexander was an assistant pro at Autumn Ridge (1993-99) and coached golf at Tri-State University prior to joining the Cougars’ men’s and women’s programs.
“I don’t tell any kid they’re going to play, or they’re not going to play,” he said. “It all comes down to hard work. We had three strong sophomores this year, but I’m graduating two of my best players this year, and there is definitely going to be spots open.
“I’ll probably take three kids this year, and Brady is one of them. I know what he can do. Now he just needs to put up the scores to be able to play in that top five. I’m always looking to bring in high character kids that I don’t believe have maxed out in their potential. We welcome Brady into our program.”
Jim Hoffman, head boys golf coach at Seymour, said he is proud of his senior’s development.
“(Marshall) has such a tremendous work ethic,” Hoffman said. “He’s a born leader; kids follow him. He’s so motivated to succeed. You couldn’t ask for a better student-athlete, a better kid to come into the program.
“He leads by example, which he has done for us. We get him for one more year to do that for us. I look forward to that, but they’re getting a tremendous young man.”
Hoffman said that Marshall has a tremendous love for the sport and spends countless hours on the links.
“If every kid had his work ethic we would be very fortunate,” he said. “He worked on the finer things and that’s what made his average go down, and he set the school record with 67. The sky is the limit for Brady as he continues to get strength, and work hard at what he’s doing.”