Nov. 18, 2008
TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona women’s golf head coach Shelly Haywood has announced the signing of Kyndall Ardoin and Sherlyn Popelka to national letters of intent, setting the stage for each to join the program prior to the start of the 2009-10 season.
The two future Wildcats will have a relationship in place prior to their arrival in Tucson next Fall. Having given Haywood a verbal commitment in the Spring, Ardoin ended up being paired with Popelka during a junior tournament. The two struck up a friendship and Ardoin began to talk up the merits of having Popelka join her on the Old Pueblo. When national signing day came last week, both players faxed their letters to signify their intent to join the team.
“We could not be happier to have both of these ladies joining our program,” said Haywood, whose team was ranked #22 in the latest Golf World/NGCA Coaches Poll released last week. “Kyndall might have been the best recruiting tool I had in place in order to make sure both of these ladies ended up signing with us. They will both fit in well here and could very well play right away upon their arrival.”
Ardoin is a native of Gibsland, Louisiana and attends Glenbrook High School. A two-time Louisiana state champion, she is currently ranked #24 by Golfweek and is ranked #14 in the class of 2009 by the Junior Golf Scoreboard. She is a standout both in the classroom and on the athletic fields, earning Honor Roll status with a 4.167 GPA while also earning varsity letters in basketball and track and field to go along with her golf merits.
“One of the things I like most about Kyndall is that she’s very competitive and that she’s very athletic,” said Haywood of a player who has won nine tournament titles over the past two years. “She loves golf and she wants to get better. Those are qualities you want to have in any player in your program.”
Popelka was born in Zurich, Switzerland, but currently trains in Reunion, Florida and will be the first UA player to have received instruction at the prestigious Annika Academy, owned by UA alum and LPGA star Annika Sorenstam. She has been trained by Henri Reis, swing coach for Sorenstam, and has received fitness instruction from Kai Fusser.
“Sherlyn is a very consistent player who drives the ball very straight,” said Haywood, who had a chance to visit with her future player when the Wildcats were in Florida for the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championships. “She hits the ball very straight and is a very good putter. She has a ton of international experience and it’s great to have someone like Annika as an advocate for our program.”
Popelka has earned a 3.85 grade point average at Lake Mary Prep thus far. She has excelled overseas as a junior, placing 9th in the stroke play portion of the Girls’ British Junior Amateur before falling in the Round of 16 during match play. She was the runner-up to Ardoin this June at the AJGA Ringgolf Junior Classic in Ringgold, Ga.