Men’s Golf Inks Three for 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky men’s golf coach Brian Craig announced the signing of three in-state players to National Letters of Intent for the 2016 signing class on Monday. Jacob Cook (Frankfort, Ky.), Allen Hamilton (Louisville, Ky.) and Matt Liston (Louisville, Ky.) have each signed to play their collegiate golf for the Wildcats. 

“I love this 2016 class,” Craig said. “Allen Hamilton, Matt Liston and Jacob Cook all bring the attributes of character, desire and excellent academics that we value in our program.  I also love the fact that all three of these guys are just starting to scratch the surface of their potential.  Their best golf is definitely in front of them and their future is bright.  It is also very cool to have a class that is all Kentucky boys who can play at this level.  I can’t wait to have them wear the Blue and White and help us to achieve our goal of winning an SEC Championship.”

The three players from the state of Kentucky will join five current team members from the Commonwealth for the 2016-17 season. 

Allen Hamilton
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
High School: Saint Xavier
Parents: Kim and Vince Hamilton
Need to Know: Two-time state champion       

Hamilton who is from Louisville, Ky., is a four-year letterwinner for Saint Xavier High School where he was a teammate with fellow signee, Liston. Hamilton is a two-time All-State performer who helped lead Saint Xavier to consecutive state championships. He turned in a third-place finish at the state championships in 2014 behind rounds of 71 and 72 and again in 2015 with rounds of 65 and 72. 

Hamilton has garnered five top-15 finishes on the AJGA circuit. He carded a seventh place finish twice including at the prestigious 2015 Wells Fargo Jr. event.  Additionally, Hamilton was crowned the Golfweek 14U Player of the Year in 2013.

“I love the upside that Allen Hamilton brings to our program,” Craig said. “He is a big, strong young man who has the proven ability to shoot low scores in competition as evidenced by his opening round 65 in this year’s Kentucky State High School Championship.  I also love the work ethic and character that Allen brings to our team.  He is a high-desire and high-character young man who will relentlessly chase his dream of helping us win championships.  It is also really special to see Allen get the opportunity to follow in his dad’s footsteps as a member of the Kentucky golf team.  Vince Hamilton can play and the apple did not fall far from the tree.  Allen will be a perfect fit for our program and I can’t wait to coach him.”

Jacob Cook
Hometown: Frankfort, Ky.
High School: Franklin County
Parents: Marsha and Dwayne Cook
Need to Know: Owns every statistical record at Franklin County HS      

Cook hails from Frankfort, Ky., where he played his high school golf at Franklin County High School. A four-year letterwinner who caped his career owning every statistical record for Franklin County High including a 69.9 stroke average. As a two-time Central Kentucky Golf Conference Player of the Year, Cook tied for eighth in the KHSAA state tournament. 

He turned in a second-place finish at the American Junior Golf Association’s (AJGA) Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior tournament in Ashland, Ky. He also earned a seven-place finish at the Southern Junior Amateur event at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky.

“Jacob Cook is going to be a terrific college player,” Craig said. “He is super skilled and is mature beyond his years.  Jacob plays a precision game and has a high golf IQ.  He is a tactician on the course and does an extraordinary job of saving shots while competing.  His tournament record over the past year has been outstanding and is only rivaled by his wonderful character.  There simply is not another young man out there who is as genuinely kind and considerate as Jacob.  He will be a loyal and supportive teammate and that is super important to us.  Jacob is going to be a tremendous asset to our program and I look forward to helping him grow as a player and a person while he wears the Blue and White.”

Matt Liston
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
High School: Saint Xavier
Parents: Missy and Mark Liston
Need to Know: Two-time state champion       

Liston also hails from Louisville, Ky., and was a teammate of Hamilton’s on the Saint Xavier’s two-time state championship squad. He was an all-state performer during his four-year tenure with Saint Xavier. His Saint X team holds the state record for the low round and low total at the state tournament. 

Liston is a member of the Gentlemen’s Breakfast Club and won the Legends Junior tournament on the AJGA. He also carded a 14th place finish at the AJCA Rolex event, which is the most prestigious event on the junior schedule. Furthermore, he qualified for the U.S. Junior Championships in the summer of 2015.

“Matt Liston has improved as much as anybody I have seen in the course of a year,” Craig said. “The trajectory he is on right now is phenomenal and is a direct result of his work ethic and self-belief.  He played a national schedule this past summer and collected an AJGA win and a top 15 finish in the most prestigious stroke play event that the AJGA offers.  Matt is a terrific ball striker who hits the center of the clubface with tremendous consistency.  I also love his moxie and the way he carries himself on and off the course.  His character and academics are exactly what we are looking for in our program.  I can’t wait to see him excel while representing the Big Blue Nation.”

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