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Dahl in full swing of things

First-year Vaqueros golfer has adjusted to life in the United States and his golf game is flourishing

April 26, 2012|By Charles Rich
(Tim Berger/Staff…)

Culture shock wasn't going to prevent Mathias Dahl from playing collegiate golf in the United States. For more than 10 years, Dahl proved he could excel on golf courses across his native Sweden while playing in amateur tournaments.

A new challenge beckoned for Dahl, one that's found him starring for the burgeoning Glendale Community College men's team. Since moving from Sweden last summer, Dahl has mastered English, quickly overcome any hardships residing in the United States and continued his dominance striking golf balls on 18-hole courses.

All is well for the freshman Dahl.

"I'd never been to the United States and my family was still in Sweden," Dahl said. "The first couple of weeks were tough for me because I didn't really know anybody.

"Then, I was able to meet some new people and build friendships with them on and off the course. I can't complain. I enjoy living here."

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Dahl said he received a 90% scholarship last spring to play at the University of Central Oklahoma, an NCAA Division II program piloted by Coach Dax Johnston. However, Johnston reportedly resigned for personal reasons, leaving Dahl in a temporary bind and scrambling to make new plans to pursue other endeavors.

Dahl, who attended golf school in Sweden, wasn't going to relinquish his aspiration of playing golf in North America. He received a recommendation from a friend to consider moving to the West Coast to play for Glendale college, which advanced to the state tournament for the first time in the program's history last season. Glendale brought back the majority of its lineup under Coach Greg Osbourne, who also hit the recruiting trail with authority, searching for a capable core of freshmen to provide depth.

Dahl didn't pass up the opportunity to meet with Osbourne and several future teammates. Dahl received a warm welcome from his new teammates and earned a spot in the lineup while making slight alterations with his long and short game under Osbourne's watch.

"I'd never heard of GCC, but I saw that it was close to Los Angeles and I wanted to be able to golf in Southern California, where there are a lot of great courses," said Dahl, who was born in Stockholm. "I took a chance coming here, but it's one that I'm glad I did.

"The guys here at GCC have made me welcome and we have a team that's been doing well."

Said Osbourne: "It's been a pretty easy adjustment for him coming here from Sweden. I think he felt comfortable right off the bat here."

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