UC golfer with 4.0 GPA qualifies for NCAA regionals

CINCINNATI — University of Cincinnati golfer Sam Jean is able to finally get more sleep this week with final exams behind him.

With golf as his primary focus, there is no telling what Jean could accomplish at the NCAA Central Regional starting Monday morning on the Scarlet Course at The Ohio State Golf Club in Columbus.

“He doesn’t get the most rest because of his academic demands,” said Doug Martin, UC men’s golf coach. “But, I’m anxious to see what Sam is able to do in a week where he has rest. To where he’s not going to have any demands from school. He’s not going to be up until 2 o’clock in the morning studying and then having to get up at 6 o’clock to go play golf.”

The academic calendar year workload is significant for Jean, who has a 4.0 grade-point average studying mechanical engineering as a senior academically this spring.

“It definitely can be tough with golf and then engineering on top of it,” said Jean, who is from Greenwood, Indiana. “I really have to be disciplined and stay on top of it. I don’t get to put I feel like the time I want to into both of them. It’s kind of a little bit of a sacrifice on both ends which can be frustrating at times.”

However, Martin said Jean is the “consummate student-athlete” as the fourth NCAA men’s golf tournament qualifier he’s coached at UC. Jean strives to excel on the course and in the classroom at all times.

“He does pretty much everything great players do to get ready to compete,” Martin said. “I would say with school demands he does an incredible job of being prepared to play every week. And I think that’s really as a coach that’s all you can ask of your players.”

Jean, 22, is the seventh UC men’s golfer to appear in the NCAA tournament and the first since Austin Squires in 2019. The top five teams and the top individual not on those squads in six regional tournaments will advance to the NCAA championship in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 27 to June 1.

Jean has been very consistent with his driver this spring and is a very good irons player, Martin said.

Jean earned his second straight All-American Athletic Conference honor after leading the Bearcats with a 71.4 stroke average, the lowest for UC since 2019.

He won Wisconsin’s Badger Invitational (Sept. 26-28) as part of five top-10 finishes of the year.

Jean has aspirations of playing professional golf after having played the game since an early age. He couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to compete on a national stage next week.

“It’s really exciting,” Jean said. “I was a freshman when I got to watch Austin Squires go and play so that was really cool to follow along from home and cheer him on. I’m so thankful to represent UC. Everybody at Cincinnati has been great and so helpful to get me where I am. Excited to wear the C-paw on my shirt and go and compete.”

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