🏌️♂️ Jayhawks Add Four to 2023 Signing Class
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Men’s Golf program announced the additions of Max Jelinek, Noah Holtzman, Beni Long and Braeden Sladek to the 2023 signing class on Wednesday.
The four-man class consists of two international additions, a Minnesota native and a Kansan.
Below is more information on all four:
A native of the Czech Republic, Jelinek arrives at Kansas via Altitude Academies in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where he has put together an impressive resume. Currently ranked 98th in the Junior Golf Scoreboard 2023 Class and 39th in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Jelinek is coming off three-straight top-10 finishes, including a first-place finish at the AJGA Billy Horschel on Oct. 8-10.
Jelinek received the 2019 Czech Republic Player of the Year award while making the Czech Republic National Team in the same year. In 2021 and 2022, Jelinek was voted for the European Tour Wild Card.
“We picked Max up late in the recruiting process and believe his best golf is still in front of him,” said Head Coach Jamie Bermel. “He plays all over the world and has competed in a couple of professional events as an amateur.”
Holtzman, a Bishop Carroll Catholic High School product, is the 274th-ranked player in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Holtzman is arriving to Kansas after an incredible senior season. The Kansas native is the reigning 2022 5A State Champion, 2022 Central Links Golf Junior Player of the Year, 2022 KC Boys Match Play Champion and two-time 5A All-State selection.
After an opening round of 79 at the 2021 State Junior, Holtzman fired back a 66 in the final round to move him from 45th to 5th place, marking one of the biggest comebacks of his career.
“Noah is a Kansas kid born and raised,” Bermel said. “Both of his parents went to KU and his father played on the golf team. Noah grew up a Jayhawk and is one of the top players in Kansas for 2023. He’s a very consistent player and continues to get better and better.”
From Alexandria, Minn., Sladek joins Kansas as one of the most decorated golfers from Minnesota in the 2023 class. Sladek is wrapping up his senior year at Alexandria Area High School, where he’s accomplished many milestones. In his freshman year, Sladek earned a spot on the 2020 AJGA Junior All Star Team, where he then won two AJGA Championships.
In 2021, the Alexandria native became the Minnesota Junior PGA Champion and was the youngest winner in history at the 2021 Resorter’s Men’s Championship. A four-time Minnesota All-State Golf Team member and 2022 Conference Tournament Champion, Sladek looks to contribute as a key piece for the Jayhawks.
“Braeden is a kid that has played a lot of junior golf from a very young age,” Bermel said. “He has shot some very low rounds and isn’t afraid to shoot under par. I’ve coached a lot of kids from Alexandria, and they are tough and can play in any weather conditions.”
Long joins the Jayhawks from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and currently competes in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. Swinging from the left-side, Long checks in at No. 169 in the Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings. Long had an impressive fall season last year, which included three individual championships (2021 FHSAA Regionals, 2021 Manatee County Championship and the 2021 Donald Ross Tri-County High School Invitational).
Most recently, Long finished second as an individual at the 2021 FHSAA High School State Championship (1A), leading his team to a championship victory. Long made Team Florida 2021 after winning the 2021 Individual FHSAA Regionals, firing a 3-under round of 69.
“Originally from Canada but goes to school in Florida, Beni has a ton of playing experience all over the country,” Bermel said. “He plays left-handed and committed almost a year ago. I would consider Beni a golf junkie – just plays and practices nonstop.”
Bermel’s Overall Thoughts on the Class: “I’m really excited for this class of commitments. I think from top to bottom, this class has a chance to produce some impressive golf for the Jayhawks. All of them are super competitive, come from great families, are very accomplished in the classroom. They’re all excited to wear the crimson and blue. I believe each of these kids have a chance to come in and compete on day one.”
Jelinek, Holtzman, Long and Sladek will join the Jayhawks for the 2023-24 season.