Arkansas State head men’s golf coach Steve Johnson announced Wednesday that Landon Hearnes, Matt Loiacano and Brayden Brown have all signed National Letters of Intent to continue their careers with the Red Wolves.
Loiacano, at native of Jonesboro, Ark., was a three-time all-state selection at Jonesboro High School and has been a team captain since 2009. He was the 6A state medalist in 2012 and the 6A-East conference medalist in 2010 and 2011. He finished third overall at the state championship in Little Rock, Ark., in 2012 and finished fourth in the tournament in 2010.
“I’ve had the pleasure to watch Matt grow up to become one of the top players in this area,” Johnson said. “He’s extremely talented and owns the course record at one of our courses with a 61. He has a very balanced game, and we’re very fortunate that he decided to stay close and join our pack.”
During his 2011 campaign, Loiacano won the Big “I” Invitational stroke-play qualifier at RidgePointe Country Club by one stroke and went on to a 41st place finish at the national tournament in Orlando, Fla. In 2012, Loiacano again qualified for the Big “I” Invitational national tournament in Austin, Texas, where he shot a 4-over-par and finished in a tie for 16th place.
Loiacano has also been on the JHS All-A Honor Roll every year and is a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. His sister, Jennifer, is currently a senior on the Arkansas State women’s golf team.
Hearnes, who is from Mayflower, Ark., was a four-time all-state and all-conference selection at Mayflower High School. He was the 2012 overall state champion and the 3A-5 district medalist.
During his 2012 campaign, he finished eighth at the Big ‘I’ National Championship and had a 10th-place finish at the Southern Junior Championship in Pinehurst, N.C., with a three-day total of 223.
“Landon has been one of the top junior golfers in Arkansas for some time with strong performances on not only a state level but a national level as well,” Johnson said. “An exceptionally long hitter, he’s shown the ability to make birdies at will and his scoring abilities will be a welcomed addition to our program.”
In 2010 Hearnes finished second at the Stars of Texas Junior All-Star event and participated in U.S. Kids World Championship as an eight-year-old in 2003.
Brown currently attends Central Memorial High School in Calgary, Alberta, Canada after previously competing on the varsity golf team at Prosper (Texas) High School, where he helped lead the Eagles to the 2011 Class 3A State championship. Brown carded rounds of 75 and 74 at the state championship.
“Brayden has been coming into his own as of late with one of his latest achievements finishing in the top 20 as an amateur in a professional event,” said Johnson. “He started out playing hockey, which helped him develop a very powerful and fundamentally sound golf swing. He also has demonstrated a strong level of commitment in the classroom and we look forward to him being a tremendous asset to our program.”
In 2012 alone, Brown claimed four top-three finishes at the MJT PGA of Alberta Junior Championship (medalist), CJGA Alberta Fall Junior Classic (runner-up), CJGA Alberta Open (runner-up) and MJT Alberta Series (3rd place). He also posted rounds of 67 and 69 for a combined 136 at the MJT Prodigy Series at Carnmoney Golf Club.