Freshman makes history for high performance on the green

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    With a great attitude and the ability to adapt to any situation, Julien Brun is one of the hardest working people head coach Bill Montigel knows on and off of the golf course. 

    “This is the first of a story of a guy that will one day be on the cover of Sports Illustrated,” Montigel said “He’s something I’ve never seen.” 

    Julien said his first time at TCU was the week he moved in and went to orientation last August, but according to an email from Christophe Brun, Julien’s father, he hasn’t had any trouble finding success. 

    Julien has won three collegiate tournament titles this year, broke two TCU records (one for wins in a single season and the other for wins in a career) and was nominated as one of the 10 semi-finalists for the national Ben Hogan Award.

    “When you see all of the names of the guys who have won it, it feels pretty cool,” Julien said. “But I just want to help the team right now and do my best on the golf course.”

    His success in America proved he made the right choice, Christophe wrote in an email.

    Montigel said he heard about Julien from Valentine Derrey, who was on the TCU women’s golf team from 2007-10.

    Derrey, who helps young French students come to the U.S., told Julien and his parents about her experience at TCU and made all the necessary steps to get more U.S. universities interested in Julien, Christophe wrote. 

    Christophe wrote that if Julien had stayed home in Antibes, France, he would not have the opportunity to further his education while still pursuing his golfing dream.

    Montigel said the first time he watched Julien play was at the 2009 International European Amateur Championship in Chantilly, France and also watched him play in the 2010 European Boys Golf Team Championship in Istanbul, Turkey. 

    Montigel only talked to Julien and his family once before Julien decided to come to TCU, he said, but it helped that he knew Derrey had a good experience here. 

    “We are proud of Julien because he pursues his aim. He knows where he wants to go and gives himself the means to get there,” Christophe wrote.

    Christophe wrote despite the language barrier Julien had to overcome, he excelled in the classroom his first semester.

    “I’ve done this for a long time, but I’ve never seen a kid that is so self reliant,” Montigel said.

    Christophe wrote that from a young age, Julien was involved in several different sports and had always loved winning. Julien played basketball, golf and tennis, but when it came time to make a choice, Christophe said it became evident Julien would pick golf.

    Julien said he was eight when he started with his first golf coach but that he learned most of what he knows from his father.

    When Julien was 14-years-old, he entered a program called Pôle Espoirs Golf, within the French Federation of Golf, that enabled Julien to attend school and receive a high level of golf training, Christophe wrote.  

    Julien said in Europe he mostly played in individual tournaments, but he had the opportunity to win the 2011 European Amateur Team Championship with the French national team, a first in team history.

    The experience Julien had with his coaches in France taught him how to train on his own and know how to improve himself, Christophe wrote. 

    Montigel said Julien was able to bring some of the things he learned from the French team to TCU.

    Montigel said there were six freshman golfers, including Julien who went to orientation and Frog Camp together. Julien said they all lived in Moncrief Hall, and his best friends were on the golf team.

    He said because of his success and support from his teammates, being far from his family and home has been easier than expected to overcome.

    When Julien’s family came to help him move in they, “…were warmly and kindly welcomed by [Coach Montigel]. We were satisfied about Julien’s choice,” Christophe wrote.

    Christophe wrote that because Julien knew how difficult golf could be and approached the game with a humble attitude, he had been able to get closer to his dream, a professional career in golf.