College

ECU men’s golf adds talented trio

The ECU men’s golf program received signed national letters of intent from Pinecrest High School teammates A.J. Beechler and Attie Giles and Green Hope’s Jack Massei during the early-signing period, head coach Andrew Sapp announced Thursday. The trio will enroll at ECU as freshmen next fall.

“We are thrilled to be adding three very talented golfers to our Pirate golf program next year,” Sapp said. “Each of these young men bring with them wonderful golf experiences and great work ethics that will help them grow as golfers and help our team grow as well.”

A.J. Beechler

As a senior at Pinecrest High School in Pinehurst, Beechler won the 2017 N.C. High School Athletic Association 4-A individual title with a 36-hole total of 8-under 136 to lead Pinecrest to its third consecutive state championship and was named Southeastern 4-A Conference Player of the Year. He has recorded 10 top-10 finishes since 2016, which included victories at the 2016 Donald Ross Junior Championship and U.S. Kids Golf Teen World Championship.

“A.J. has had a wonderful golf career so far both as a high school golfer and a junior golfer,” Sapp said. “He has been a part of high school state championship teams while also winning the state championship as an individual last year. He has also won and placed highly in many prestigious junior and amateur tournaments. He will bring loads of experience and a winning pedigree to the Pirate Nation.”

Giles has been alongside Beechler for each of the school’s three straight state titles.  In the past two years, he has posted five top-eight amateur/junior championship finishes, including runner-up at the 2017 Trusted Choice Big I Classic.

Attie Giles signs his letter of intent to attend ECU.

“We are excited to have Attie become a Pirate,” Sapp said. “His father went to ECU and is a golf professional himself. Attie has played some wonderful golf in his young career, and we look forward to his continued development at ECU.  He is an incredibly hard worker who loves to play in tournament competition, and the sky is the limit to how far he can go with his golf game. Attie is going to be a great asset to our program.”

Massei is a three-time first-team All-SWAC 4-A player and former N.C. Junior Boys’ champion. He captured medalist honors at the 2015 N.C. Junior Boy’s Championships and finished runner-up that same year at the Carolinas Golf Association Dogwood State Junior Championship. He finished third at the 2017 NCHSAA 4-A golf championships earlier as well as at the 2017 Carolinas Junior Boys Championship, 2017 Jimmy Anderson Boys Invitational and the 2017 Carolinas/Georgia Junior Championship.

“Jack brings a wealth of experience and competitiveness to our golf team.” Sapp said. “He is a former North Carolina Junior Champion and has the experience of playing in the U.S. Junior Championship. He is a wonderful athlete and comes from a very athletic family. Jack will be a great teammate as he is extremely well liked and has a great personality, but it is his competitiveness that I love.”

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