Cal Men’s Golf Inks Four To 2021 Signing Class
BERKELEY – California men's golf announced the addition four freshmen on National Signing Day as Charlie Berridge, Kuangyu (Tony) Chen, Simon Kwon and Papon Sawatyanon will join the Golden Bears in 2021-22.
"I'm really excited for this great group of young men who will represent Cal golf," Alex and Marie Shipman Director of Men's Golf Walter Chun said. "Charlie, Tony, Simon and Papon have promising futures, and they will continue to keep our program at a nationally elite level. In addition to what they can do on the golf course, they have a strong desire to excel in the classroom, and I'm thankful for their willingness to challenge themselves both academically and athletically. Go Bears!"
Charlie Berridge is 6-5 and hails from Scarsdale, New York where he is set to graduate from Scarsdale High School in the spring of 2021. Berridge led his team to a pair of Section 1 titles during his freshman and sophomore seasons, a Section 1 State Championship in 2019 and earned multiple individual accolades of his own, including: 2018 Westchester Junior and Boys Champion, placing in the top 15 in three consecutive MGA Cater Cup Championships and ties for second at the 2019 AJGA Junior Open, New York State's 2019 Section 1 Tournament and the 2019 Future Series at Eisenhower Park. Furthermore, he has shot par or below in six of 11 AJGA Open rounds this year and has recorded a career low, 67 strokes three times in the last two years. Berridge is currently ranked 438th in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
"I'm excited to play golf at Cal because I'm excited to compete at the highest level of collegiate golf," Berridge said. "I look forward to competing for a team which strives for a national championship and I am excited to get on campus, work hard and earn my place."
Off of the golf course, Charlie lettered for four years on the varsity ice hockey team. Playing predominantly as a defenceman, he led his team to a pair of A League Championship and one AA title in 2018.
Berridge also excels in the classroom as he is a member of the Signifer Honors Society at Scarsdale High and earned AJGA Scholastic All-American Honors in 2020.
Charlie's connection to Cal runs deep as his father (Eric), his father's parents and each of his aunts and uncles on that side of the family all attended Cal. In fact, his grandfather (Ron Berridge) competed for three years on the Cal rugby team under hall-of-fame coach Doc Hudson.
"Charlie is a dual sport athlete who has had success both in hockey and in golf," Chun said. "Given that his time has been split between both sports, the possibilities for Charlie when he is able to completely focus on golf is exciting to project. You add in that he can play golf year round with Bay Area weather, then he has an opportunity to play exceptionally."
The Bears' next signee is Kuangyu (Tony) Chen, a six-foot tall Australian citizen originally from Shenzhen, China. Chen is one of two recruits heading to Cal in this year's signing class from the prestigious IMG Academy. Over the past four years, he has produced five individual medalist honors and has finished in the top 10 14 times. Additionally, he earned a spot as a Rolex AJGA All-American Honorable Mention in 2018 and was named to the AJGA Scholastic Honor Roll in 2019.
"Cal has one of the best programs in the nation," Chen said. "I cannot wait to compete with some of the best amateur golfers."
Tony is also highly touted in the junior golf rankings. He is currently ranked 131st by AJGA and has ranked as high as 24th and 39th by Golfweek.
"Tony is a remarkably driven young man who has made so many sacrifices at a young age to give himself the best opportunities to succeed in golf," Chun said. "Born in China, he moved to Australia when he was eight, and then moved again to the U.S. in middle school, all to help him succeed in golf. This shows his tenacity and drive to excel. Cal golf will be his next challenge, but his past experience will absolutely help him adjust and be successful at Cal."
The Bears' third addition to next year's roster is Simon Kwon. The 5-11 resident of Salt Lake City will graduate from Skyline College in the spring of 2021 before heading to Berkeley. Kwon has been a member of the Utah High School All-State First Team each of the last four years and was named the Utah Junior Golf Association Player of the Year in 2020. Furthermore, he earned the Utah Junior Golf Player of the Year last season (separate from the JGA award) which is given to one player per year who best represents the state both on and off the course. Kwon is currently ranked 622nd by the AJGA but recently ranked as high as 229th. Simon has also led his team to many successes including three-consecutive Utah State titles, an NHSGA National Invitational Championship and a co-champion title for Team Utah at the Junior America's Cup.
"Cal has recruited some of the best players in the country," Kwon said. "Being able to train day in and day out with these players give me a tremendous opportunity to improve my game. In addition, I have the opportunity receive a diploma from one of the best schools in the country. I am beyond excited to play at Cal!"
Beyond his golf performance, Kwon also has a strong academic track record. In each of the last three years, he has earned a spot on both the High and Citizenship High Honor Roll.
"Simon's work ethic is one that embodies Cal golf," Chun said. "To say he is a tireless worker is an understatement because he works so hard. His game continues to take off in a positive direction as a result of the countless hours he has put in. The future for Simon will be an exciting one to follow."
Papon Sawatyanon, Cal's fourth addition to next year's roster, hails from Bangkok, Thailand. The 6-1 incoming freshman is also set to graduate from IMG Academy in 2021 and has played in Scotland, Thailand, and the U.S. In high school, he shot below par in 14 rounds in 2019 with a scoring average of 68.4 and was recognized by his team with the Ascender Award in both 2018 and 2019. During the 2019 season, Papon was ranked fourth in the state of Florida, 34th for the class of 2021 and 120th overall. During Sawatyanon's study in Scotland in 2016, he led his team to victory at the 2016 ISGA Scottish Open before going on to win the National Junior Schools Finals in England.
Papon is a multi-sport athlete, having also competed in soccer, rugby and table tennis.
"Cal has been my dream school and golf team since I was 13 years old," Sawatyanon said. "KK Limbhasut is my role model."
Limbhasut, a professional golfer and Cal golf alumnus, also hails Thailand.
"Papon is an outstanding individual who has made huge sacrifices to play golf at the highest levels," Chun said. "He was born in Thailand, and then moved away from his family to pursue golf at a higher level in Scotland and eventually Florida. Because of these sacrifices, his play on the golf course speaks loud and clear. He will be someone who thrives at Cal."