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Top amateur golfer from United Arab Emirates to join Buckeyes next season

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s golf team has signed Matthew Turner to a National Letter of Intent, head coach Jim Brown and associate head coach Brad Sparling announced Tuesday. Turner, a native of England who currently lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will join the Buckeyes as a freshman for the 2009-10 season.

Turner has had an impressive amateur career in UAE, recently completing the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic as the lead amateur at even-par. He finished in 51st place, topping Ernie Els and Darren Clarke, among others, and was the first golfer from the Middle East to make the cut in a European Tour event. In 2008, Turner also qualified for the Dubai Desert Classic but missed the cut.

“Matthew Turner is the kind of young man we are looking for,” Sparling said. “He’s a very good student, he’s extremely competitive, works very hard on his game and he has already enjoyed considerable success at the highest levels of tournament golf. We look forward to having him join our golf program and the Buckeye Nation next year.”

At 15 years old, Turner earned the Middle East Golfer of the Year award after becoming the first player to defend his Men’s Order of Merit championship.

Turner won the Sheikh Rashid Trophy an event held on three different golf courses that gave him his first Men’s Order of Merit title in 2006. He was the first junior player to receive the honor. That season he also won the Emirates Amateur Open, a prestigious Amateur Championship in the UAE.

The Buckeyes welcome Turner and fellow incoming freshman Zachery Sobel, a native of Clearwater, Fla., who signed with the program in November.

“We are very excited to finalize our 2009 class, which we feel is one of the top recruiting classes in the country,” Sparling said.