Tusculum men's golf adds talented group to program

Tusculum golf coach Ross Cash has announced the addition of three new players for this spring and three signees for next year.
Tusculum golf coach Ross Cash has announced the addition of three new players for this spring and three signees for next year.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum University golf coach Ross Cash has announced the addition of three players to this season's men's golf roster and has also signed three student-athletes who will be competing in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Joining the program this spring are Sheikh Razak, Nick Marchese and Jeffrey Perez.  The trio of signees includes Phillip Dean, Marko Jokic and Mark Healy.

Sheikh Razak, who comes to TU from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is a well-traveled tournament veteran who is listed in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (2,033rd) and is expected to be an immediate impact player for the Pioneer program.  He recorded seven top-10 finishes in Malaysia including a runner-up performance at the Perak Amateur Open.  He also posted third place finishes at the Selangor Amateur Open and the AM Bank Sport Excel International Junior Championship.  His father is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and his sister currently plays on the ETSU golf team.

Jeffrey Perez, a native of Rock Island, Illinois, comes to Tusculum after playing at Black Hawk Community College where he was the No. 21 junior college player in the nation according to the Golfstat rankings.  He helped Black Hawk win first place honors at the NJCAA Qualifier as he finished sixth individually with 75-77-69=221. Perez also logged a third place finish at the Oak Ridge Classic with his 73, finished runner-up at the Dunes & Charger Classic with 76-70=146 and another second place showing at the Dunes Classic with a two-under par 70.

Nick Marchese, a Bolton, Ontario, Canada native, comes to Tusculum from NCAA Division II Palm Beach Atlantic University where he is currently listed No. 28 in the Golfstat national rankings and has a 71.19 scoring average.  Due to NCAA transfer rules, he won't be eligible to play until next season. He posted a 36-hole total 74-74=148 in the U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifying at the Granite Golf Club missing the cut by five strokes.  He won medalist honors at the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour Season Kickoff at Woodmont.  He also won tournament medals at the 2016 OFSAA Qualifier, 2016 Junior Golf Association of Broward County Championship, 2016 JGA Classic at Lago Mar CC and 2016 Junior SIMCOE Tour Event at the Cardinal Club. Marchese is super-talented, driven and has proven to be a hard worker. Coach Cash indicates he has the potential to be one of the best players to ever play at Tusculum University.

"It's a very exciting time to be a part of Tusculum University Golf," said Cash. "There is a tangible culture shift that I can feel and a self-governing level of accountability developing amongst the team that I can see. We are going to do something very special here."

2019-2020 Signees

Phillip Dean graduated from Bearden High School in Knoxville, Tennessee and later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force for six years.  He continued playing competitive golf during his military career and finished eighth at the Air Force Trials at Glen Eagle in Millington, Tennessee.  He won the St. Patrick's Day Tournament in 2018 at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada.  He advanced to the championship flight at the 2018 Strawberry Invitational and posted scores of 75-73-73=221 at the Wayne County Amateur.  At Bearden, he earned runner-up honors at the District Championship with a two-under par 70 at Lambert Acres in Knoxville.

Marko Jokic is currently the top-ranked amateur Serbia. Coach Cash feels he has the size and physical strength to dominate college golf.  His club head speed with fluid, balanced control is still in the 120mph range.  He captured three medalist honors at the Serbian Junior Open (70-69-71=210), Serbian Men's Open (70-75-74=219) and Serbian Amateur Tour II (68-72-75=215).  Jokic placed second at the Slovenian Amateur Tour Event and posted solid scores at the 2016 and 2017 Slovenian Junior Open.

Mark Healy, a product of Cork, Ireland, garnered medalist honors at the Bandon Memorial where he fired a 67 and shot 68 to win the PGA Tankard Tournament.  He posted a 20th place finish at the 2018 Irish U21 Championship with 78-71-76=225 and placed fourth at the Kinsale GOY with a round of 66.  He is coached by Ian Stafford and Coach Cash feels his swing is one of the best he's ever seen.

Tusculum University, located in Greeneville, Tennessee, is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA and is a NCAA Division II member of the South Atlantic Conference.