The nation's top-rated NJCAA golfer is about to trade his purple for a bit of red. And a whole new level of competition.
On Thursday afternoon, Ranger College sophomore Mark Foelbaek signed a National Letter of Intent to play next season at the University of Nebraska, an NCAA Division I program. The Jeliig, Denmark, standout made the move from the junior college ranks to the Big 10 official by signing a scholarship package with the Cornhuskers on Nov. 28 in the RC Board of Regents' conference room.
"I think it (Nebraska) is a great program and that it will be an outstanding opportunity for me to move forward as a golfer an in academics," said Foelbaek, who finished the fall semester as the No. 1-rated golfer in the NJCAA ranks, according to Golfstat.com. "I'm looking forward to getting started."
Foelbaek said Nebraska was one of several Division I programs that had contacted him about continuing his collegiate career. In joining the 'Huskers, he said the Nebraska program was one that could help him develop even more.
"Nebraska is a big-time school," he told Huskers.com. "It has all the resources and the facilities I could need to help me become a great golfer. With the indoor and outdoor facilities, I'm going to be able to practice every single day and work on my game constantly."
Ranger College head coach Houston Moore praised Foelbaek's work ethic and desire to improve.
"I couldn't be happier for him," said Moore. "He really worked hard to improve his game while he was here. He earned this opportunity and I can't wait to see him continue to have success at the next level."
Foelbaek rose to prominence as a sophomore, thanks to a summer of hard work to improve his overall game.
"I think it (his career at RC) went pretty well," he said. "The first year wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be, but after the summer I came back and worked even harder."
An honor student with a 3.75 GPA at Ranger, Foelbaek achieved top five finishes in all four of his events this fall, posting a 68.4 stroke average His play this season was highlighted by a six-stroke victory over a tough field at the High Country Shootout in Ruidoso, N.M. At that meet, he shot a school record total of 193 (-23) over three rounds (65-63-65).
Foelbaek also helped lead Ranger to a team title at the New Mexico Military Bronco Invitational, where he tied for fourth after rounds of 68 and 70. Days later, he came back to take third at the Tyler JC Fall Invitational.
Foelbaek's deal with the University of Nebraska was aided by his membership in Phi Theta Kappa. The honor society donated $2,500 to his deal, allowing him to receive a full scholarship.
He said he appreciated PTK's help and encouraged others to strive to join.
"I think PTK gives students a great opportunity," he said. "If you work hard in the classroom, you have the opportunity to become a part of PTK which can help you financially when you transfer to a university. In my case, PTK is going to help me pay for the rest that my offer from Nebraska won't cover. It is great that Ranger College is part of programs like PTK that help students who have worked hard with both academics and athletics."