Ball announces two “impact player” signees for VCU golf

©2016 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.
©2016 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.
Photo © 2016 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.

Two recruits, Kristian Tannum Donaldson and Sachin Kumar, have signed National Letters of Intent to play for VCU in 2017, according to a Nov. 28 announcement from VCU golf coach Matt Ball.

Kumar attends the Club Med Golf Academy in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Trinidad native has played in several golf tournaments at every level available to him throughout his career, according to Ball.

Kumar’s junior career highlights include playing in the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open Second Stage and the USGA Two-Man Team Championship. More recently, he won the Optimist Tournament of Championships.

Kumar also garnered interest from Auburn University, Florida State University, the University of Florida, Mississippi State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Kumar is coming in being extremely consistent,” Ball said. “He has a good personality and the potential to be a starter in the 2017 season.”

Tannum Donaldson hails from Buckinghamshire, England, where he plays for the English Junior National Team.

“Kristian is an excellent student and an English gentleman,” Ball said. “He’s a well-rounded golfer and possesses a high golf IQ.”

Tannum Donaldson is a well-traveled golfer and has played in junior events across Europe. This past summer, Tannum Donaldson won the Luke Donald Salver at the Beaconsfield Golf Club Junior Open in England.

Other strong finishes for Tannum Donaldson include a sixth-place finish in the Carris Trophy, seventh in the Sir Henry Cooper and eighth in the Daily Telegraph. The Daily Telegraph begins with a field of more than 7,000 players.

Tannum Donaldson consistently posts low scores, according to Ball, but does not quite have the understanding of his swing that Kumar possesses. Although seen as a late bloomer, Tannum Donaldson is a natural athlete in the sport.

“I expect both of these players to start immediately and be impact players right away,” Ball said. “These are two players to build the team around.  I’m looking forward to the next four years with them.”

Kumar and Tannum Donaldson will be replacing the three seniors planning to graduate in the spring — Jamie Clare, Hanish Nagrani and Enej Sarkanj.

Clare was the most improved and best player this year and has “stepped up,” according to Ball. Clare was a member of the 2015 All-Atlantic 10 team and posted the Rams’ third best scoring average last season.

Nagrani and Sarkanj have both been in and out of the line up during their time here at VCU.

Nagrani will leave VCU with the accomplishment of being named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week three times during the 2013-14 season. Sarkanj was the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on April 3, 2014.

“Every year starts with new hope and new wonder,” Ball said. “Kumar and Tannum Donaldson have already accomplished so much, more than the current players.”

Ball said he hopes for the two new signees to grow as leaders together in the coming season.

Jessica Wetzler, Contributing Writer

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