Mason Elmore of Charlotte, N.C., and Ryan Gerard of Raleigh, N.C., signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of North Carolina and play men’s golf, Tar Heel head coach Andrew Sapp announced.
Elmore attends Ardrey Kell High School. Gerard attends Ravenscroft High School.
“We’re thrilled to add Ryan and Mason to our team,” says Sapp, “and are fortunate to sign two excellent players from our home state to represent the Tar Heels both in the classroom and on the golf course.”
Elmore won the 2015 Donald Ross Junior Championship in Pinehurst. He also took medalist honors at the 2016 Golfweek Junior Tour at the University of Georgia, was second at the 2015 Webb Simpson Challenge in Southern Pines and the 2016 AJGA IZOD Championship in Kannapolis. Elmore placed third at the 2015 Carmel High School Challenge, fifth at the 2016 Trusted Choice Big I Classic in Southern Pines, fifth at the 2015 Country Club of North Carolina Junior Masters in Pinehurst and eighth at the 2016 Carolinas Golf Association Junior Boys Championship in Wilson.
“Mason has a wonderful golf swing and is continuing to improve,” says Sapp. “He’s had some fine finishes in the past year and knows how to win. Mason has all of the tools to be a great college golfer and we look forward to working with him to help him reach his personal goals and our goals as a team.”
"I've been a Carolina fan since birth and the opportunity to play for the Tar Heels is a dream come true,” says Elmore. “The combination of athletics and academics ensures me of a bright future. I know Coach Sapp and Coach (Andrew) DiBitetto will be instrumental in my success."
Gerard, ninth nationally in the Polo Golf rankings, is a 2016 AJGA Rolex All-America first-team and played for the East team in the 2016 Wyndham Cup. He has won five titles, including the 2015 AJGA Polo Golf Junior Classic at Palm Beach Gardens in Palm Beach, Fla., the 2015 AJGA Midwest Junior Players Championship in Romeoville, Ill., the 2015 NCJGF Robert Trent Jones Junior Open in Sanford, the 2013 NCJGF NC State Wolfpack Junior and the 2013 MAJGT Championship at the Den in Bloomington, Ill.
Gerard added top-10 finishes this past summer at the Thunderbird International Junior in Scottsdale, Ariz. (sixth) and the Junior PGA Championship in Rumford, R.I. (fifth). He was third at the 2015 AJGA KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational in Johnson, Ark.
“Ryan has played with and against the best junior golfers in the world and beaten them,” says Sapp. “His experience against that level of competition should make for a smooth transition to college golf. He has an incredible desire and work ethic and will not only be a wonderful player for UNC but an excellent example to all of his teammates.”
Gerard was the runner-up in the 2016 North Carolina Independent Schools 3-A state championship and also finished second at the 2015 AJGA Junior Open at the IJGA, the 2014 Golfweek Junior International, the 2014 NCJGF UNC Tar Heel Junior, the 2014 MAJGT Championship at Royal Hawk and the 2013 Webb Simpson Challenge. He was fourth as a sophomore in the 2015 NCISAA 3-4 State Championship. He qualified for the 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
"Carolina presents great opportunities on and off the golf course,” says Gerard. “The coaches are phenomenal, and the team is made up of classy guys who are incredible players. Being able to go there is a dream come true and I can't wait to pursue a national championship."