New England stand-out signs with BYU

PROVO -- BYU women's golf coach Sue Nyhus announced the early signing of Juli Wightman, who will elevate the level of play and bring talent to the Cougar squad next year.

"Juli will be an immediate and powerful addition to an already talented squad," Nyhus said.

Wightman, a native of Chicopee, Mass., has been highly recruited from all over the country and has extensive local and national experience. Schools such as Michigan, Purdue, Tulane, Georgia Tech, UCLA and especially South Florida have recruited her, but she chose to come to BYU.

"BYU really fits my lifestyle, I liked everything about it beyond golf," Wightman told a New England newspaper, The Republican. "It really fits the whole church part of my life, and that's very important."

Wightman's father, Via, said as soon as BYU offered her a scholarship, her heart was set and everything matched up with what she wanted to accomplish.

Juli has competed in a long list of tournaments throughout the past two years. But perhaps the most prestigious tournaments she has qualified for and played in is the USGA National Girls Junior Tournament and the USGA Women's Amateur. She qualified for these tournaments among a pool of 1500 other golfers and was selected to play with the top 64 golfers in the tournaments.

She is a former high school girls state champion and three-time champion of the Western Massachusetts girl's title. She has also led her (boys) high school golf team for four years, serving as the co-captain of the team her senior year and playing solid golf all season.

Her brother, Tele, led Southern Florida's men's golf team and is now plays professionally on the Canadian Tour and barely missed qualifying for the PGA Tour. Her older sister Sara attended BYU and lives in Utah.

"We are excited about all the positive qualities that Juli brings to BYU," Nyhus said. "She is a hard worker with great technique and we at BYU are honored that she selected to join our team."

In 2003, Wightman placed 2nd at the New England Girls Championship and her best competitive round was 67 at the Chicopee Golf Course. As class president all four years at Chicopee High School, Wightman is focused with her golf and with her education, already deciding to major in Elementary Education.