STEPHENVILLE, Texas – For the first time in more than 25 years, the Tarleton men’s golf team has added new members to its roster.
Tarleton announced Tuesday that Max Bengtsson, Johnathan Kittle and Cristobal Sepulveda have all joined the program, a 2022 restart of Texas men’s golf that hasn’t played since 1995.
“I’m thrilled to have these three young men as the first freshman class in this program in three decades,” the men’s golf head coach said. Luck Cain noted. “I have no doubt they will lay a solid foundation to help build this program to the level it needs to be highly competitive in NCAA Division I golf. They all have different strengths to bring to the table, and I can’t wait to hit the ground running with them this fall.”
Bengtsson comes to Stephenville from Halmstad, Sweden. He recently attended school at the Aspero Idrottsgymnasium in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he played three years of varsity golf. He was a member of the Swedish Junior National Team Championship team in 2021, the Ringenäs Golfklubb Junior program.
Bengtsson has a handicap of +2.1 with an average of 71.8. His lowest score in the tournament was 66. He is the ninth-ranked player in Sweden’s U18 national ranks, No. 60 in the U21 rankings. He won the Hofgardens Junior Open with rounds of 72-66.
“Max comes to us as one of Sweden’s best U18 players with an outstanding resume and work ethic,” Cain said. “He’s fundamentally solid throughout his game and I know he will have a positive impact on this program.”
Bengtsson will pursue a business degree at Tarleton.
Kittle, who goes by the name Jonny, joins the team at Saint James School in Grimsby, England. He also attended Franklin Sixth Form College for two years.
One of Kittle’s most impressive performances in his established junior career was finishing seventh in the English U18 Championship at Farnham Golf Club with a score of -2.
Kittle won Lincolnshire U18 Woodrofe Walter at Belton Park Golf Club with a +1, scores 72-71. He has also finished in the top five three times in tournaments across England.
“Johnathan is a very talented player from England who has a ton of firepower and has competed at a high level across the UK,” Cain said. “His ceiling is very high and I can’t wait to see what his future entails for this program.”
Kittle will study a finance major at Tarleton.
Sepulveda comes to Texas from Santiago, Chile, where he attended Colegio San Anselmo. He was a well-known golfer in the country, earning Chile’s No. 1 ranking in his age group for six consecutive years. He participated in the 2018 Junior Open in St. Andrews. He also participated in the World Junior Golf Championship and the South American Amateur Championship.
In high school, he received an Academic Excellence Award and was named the school’s Top Athlete in 2019.
“Cristobal comes with a ton of experience all over the world playing in top junior events with multiple top 10 finishes all over South America and the United States,” Cain said. “He’s a talented young man from Chile who is an incredible ball striker and will be a fantastic addition to our program.”
Sepulveda will be pursuing a business degree at Tarleton.
These are just the first three additions to the relaunched men’s golf program which will add more athletes to the roster in the coming months.