DUBLIN, Ohio – Patrick Cantlay from UCLA, Abilene Christian’s Alex Carpenter, Chris Morris from Centre, Oklahoma Christian’s Oscar Stark and Brandt Garon of Meridian Community College have been named the 2011 Jack Nicklaus Award recipients as the GCAA Collegiate Players of the Year.
Cantlay - The Division I Nicklaus Award recipient - was previously honored with the Phil Mickelson Award presented by the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation as the nation’s outstanding freshman and was named a PING First-Team All-America selection. Cantlay recorded four victories during the season. Cantlay also led the Bruins on the year with seven top five finishes and set a new UCLA single season record for stroke-play scoring average at 70.5. He finished the season with the team lead in rounds under par (20), rounds under 70 (17) and top 10 finishes (9). In addition, Cantlay was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, becoming just the second golfer in league history to earn both awards in the same season. He only finished outside the top-10 three times in 12 events this year.
Carpenter won seven tournaments in 2010-11, including six straight. He was a first team All-Lone Star Conference selection as he helped ACU to a third-place finish at the conference championship tournament and placed fourth individually. Four of his wins came in the fall while three tournament titles came during the spring season. Carpenter had three additional top 10 finishes and only placed outside of the top 20 twice in 13 starts. His single-season scoring average of 70.89 in 2010-11 is the lowest single-season scoring average in ACU history. He helped lead the Wildcats to the NCAA Division II South Central/Midwest Region Super Regional championship and a third-place finish at the NCAA Division II national tournament.
A senior from Maysville, Ky., Morris helped lead the Centre men’s golf team to one of their best seasons in school history. He was a team captain for the Colonels and finished the 2011 golf season by winning the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. Morris received the Arnold Palmer Award presented by Callaway for being the national championship medalist and he became a PING First Team All-American for his performance. The victory at the the NCAA Championships was one of eight for Morris in 2010-11. During the season he was also named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar, a Division III PING All-South Region Team member, and an All-SCAC First-Team member. Additionally, he was selected as the Co-Male Student Athlete of the Year by Centre College.
Stark, a senior for the Eagles and the 2011 NAIA individual national champion, earned the Arnold Palmer Award presented by Callaway and was named a PING First-Team All-America selection for the third straight year. He was also a third-team selection as a freshmen to become a four-time honoree. Additionally, Stark earned his second NAIA Scholar-Athlete award after maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. He had two other wins - the Texoma Championship and UST Mamiya Championship - in addition to earning NAIA national medalist honors. Stark recorded eight top 10 finishes in 10 events this season. Stark is the only individual champion in the program’s history and one of three athletes in school history to be a member of two national championship teams.
In 2011, Garon won four events - the Wallace State Fall Invitational, Preview at the Point, Arkansas State Red Wolf Intercollegiate and the NJCAA District IV Championship. He posted a team best 72.36 scoring average and had 16 rounds of even par or lower. Garon was named a PING First-Team All-America selection, as well as PING All-Region, for the second consecutive year. In addition to his four victories, Garon also had one runner-up finish and was named to an event’s all-tournament team eight times in 13 events.
Jack Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988. Mr. Nicklaus recognized the recipients during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, just outside of Nicklaus’ hometown of Columbus.