By Cassie Stein, Golfweek
EL PASO, Texas (Nov. 26, 2013) – Brad Shigezawa returned to Division I golf this week as he played in his first Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic.
Returned, you ask?
Shigezawa, a senior at Division III powerhouse Claremont Mudd Scripps, first played at Northwestern in 2010. Instead of putting athletics first, Shigezawa wanted to be a true student-athlete.
The pre-med biology major felt like he couldn’t put his best effort into both things, and felt that a Div. I golf schedule would affect his studies.
He ultimately decided to transfer, and since, Shigezawa has excelled on the course, more than if he would have stayed at Northwestern, he said.
He was named the Division III Player of the Year in 2012-13 after capturing the NCAA Division III individual title, and is a two-time All-American for the Stags.
The team came close to winning the NCAA Championship last year as the team finished fifth at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Shigezawa believes this year is the Stags’ best chance to win a national championship.
The Stags won all three fall tournaments this season to stay undefeated and finish the fall as the No. 1 team in the country according to the Golfstat Rankings.
“It’s going be exciting,” Shigezawa said about the spring season. “I think the guys and myself will be working extremely hard this offseason and bring their games again for the spring.”
Shigezawa finished the All-America Golf Classic in solo 15th after rounds of 69-70-73 for a 1-under 212 total at El Paso Country Club. He wasn’t totally satisfied with his play, but liked competing at the highest collegiate level again.
Plus, Shigezawa wrapped up a pretty special week by playing and riding with the reigning Haskins Award winner, California junior Michael Kim.
“It was a great honor and was very excited when I saw the pairings,” Shigezawa said. “He’s (Kim) just a great player. Michael Kim is such a great guy and it was nice to have finally met him.”