The 2001-02 National Coach of the Year is Bruce Heppler of Georgia Tech. Heppler guided the Yellow Jackets to one of the school's most successful seasons ever, posting seven tournament victories. Georgia Tech was ranked No. 1 in all nine regular season Precept Coaches Polls conducted by the GCAA. Heppler was also named Coach of the Year in the South Region. Additionally, Heppler guided the Ramblin' Wreck to a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships and coached individual national champion, Troy Matteson.
NCAA medalist, Troy Matteson receives the 2001-02 Arnold Palmer Award. Matteson, a junior from Austin, Texas, posted a score of 276 (-8) for a one-stroke win at nationals. The first team PING All-American tallied four victories this season. The Palmer Award is presented annually to the medalist at the NCAA Championships. Past winners include Phil Mikkelson, Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III.
David Skinns of Tennessee is the 2001-02 Softspikes Freshman of the Year. Skinns, a native of Lincoln, England, posted six top-10 finishes this season, including a win at the Cleveland Golf/Augusta State Invitational. That victory also earned him SEC Golfer of the Week honors on April 11. Skinns led the Vols in stroke average (71.83) and is ranked 17th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
The 2001-02 Jack Nicklaus Award, presented to the top golfer during the college season, is presented to D.J. Trahan of Clemson. Trahan, a junior from Inman, S.C., was named first team PING All-America and ACC Player of the Year. Trahan won the 2002 Ben Hogan Award, presented to the top collegiate and amateur player over the course of a 12-month period. Also named a Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar, Trahan represented the United States in the 2001 Walker Cup and will play for the U.S. again in the Palmer Cup next month.
The 2001-02 PING All-America teams have been selected. Players receiving All-America honors must have either been named to a PING All-Region team or finished in the top-15 individually at the NCAA Championships. The 2001-02 PING All-America First Team is Bill Haas, Wake Forest; Ryan Hybl, Georgia; Hunter Mahan, Oklahoma State; Troy Matteson, Georgia Tech; Graeme McDowell, UAB; D.J. Trahan, Clemson; Camilo Villegas, Florida; Nick Watney, Fresno State; Lee Williamson, Purdue and Oliver Wilson, Augusta State.
Bill Haas, Soph., Wake Forest
Haas was one of 10 finalists for the 2001-02 Ben Hogan Award for excellence in collegiate and amateur golf over the course of a year. A winner of two collegiate tournaments this season, Haas was selected in March to represent the United States in the Palmer Cup next month. Additionally, Haas was named All-ACC and is ranked fifth in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
Ryan Hybl, Soph., Georgia
Hybl, a first team All-SEC selection, was Georgia's leader in all statistical categories, including a 71.27 stroke average and eight top-10 finishes. He placed second at the SEC Championships and third at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and Las Vegas Collegiate. Hybl, along with coach Chris Haack and seven other players, will travel to Ireland next month to represent the U.S. in the Palmer Cup.
Hunter Mahan, Soph., Oklahoma State
A transfer from USC, Mahan tallied a trio of wins this season, including his first tournament as a Cowboy at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate. The 2002 Big 12 Player of the Year was a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award and selected to the U.S. Palmer Cup team. Mahan set a school record when he carded a 62 (-10) at the U.S. Collegiate.
Troy Matteson, Jr., Georgia Tech
Matteson posted four wins this season, including three straight (TaylorMade/Waikoloa Intercollegiate, Puerto Rico Classic and Las Vegas Collegiate). He earned the Arnold Palmer Award for finishing first at the NCAA Championships. The two-time All-ACC selection led the top-ranked Yellow Jackets in scoring average in 2001-02. Matteson was a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award and selected to the 2002 United States Palmer Cup team.
Graeme McDowell, Jr., UAB
McDowell earned first team PING All-America honors for the second straight year. The two-time Conference USA Player of the Year posted six tournament victories this season, and tied for fourth at the NCAA Championships. A native of Portrush, Northern Ireland, McDowell is ranked first in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and the Golfstat Cup standings.
D.J. Trahan, Jr., Clemson
Trahan has received numerous accolades this season, including being named winner of the Ben Hogan Award and Jack Nicklaus Award. The ACC Player of the Year won three tournaments this season, including the NCAA East Regional, and finished second in three others. Trahan was also named Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar by the GCAA for excellence on the course and in the classroom.
Camilo Villegas, Soph., Florida
The SEC Player of the Year, Villegas tallied three wins and eight top-10 finishes this season. He was named an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar and broke his own school record for scoring average (70.8). A native of Medellin, Colombia, Villegas was named Softspikes Freshman of the Year in 2000-01.
Nick Watney, Jr., Fresno State
Watney was named 2002 WAC Player of the Year and first team All-Conference. He showed amazingly consistent play, finishing out of the top-10 only once in 15 tournaments this season. A 2002 U.S. Palmer Cup team selection, Watney finished first or second in seven events, including three wins.
Lee Williamson, Sr., Purdue
The only senior to be named first team PING All-America, Williamson finished in the top-five in seven of 10 contests this season. The 2002 Big Ten Player of the Year posted two individual wins (Kepler-Cleveland Intercollegiate and NCAA Central Regional). Williamson was a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award, and will compete in the Palmer Cup next month for the United States.
Oliver Wilson, Jr., Augusta State
A native of Mansfield, England, Wilson tallied seven top-10 (including three third-place) finishes in 2001-02. A member of the 2001 Great Britain and Ireland Palmer Cup team, Wilson tied his own school-record for lowest 18-hole score (65) at the Gator Invitational in February.
PING All-America First Team
Bill Haas, Wake Forest
Ryan Hybl, Georgia
Hunter Mahan, Oklahoma State
Troy Matteson, Georgia Tech
Graeme McDowell, UAB
D.J. Trahan, Clemson
Camilo Villegas, Florida
Nick Watney, Fresno State
Lee Williamson, Purdue
Oliver Wilson, Augusta State
PING All-America Second Team
Dustin Bray, North Carolina
Brendon de Jonge, Virginia Tech
Kevin Haefner, Auburn
Gregg Jones, Clemson
John Klauk, Texas
Brock Mackenzie, Washington
Kris Mikkelsen, Georgia Tech
David Skinns, Tennessee
Brandt Snedeker, Vanderbilt
Kevin Stadler, Southern California
PING All-America Third Team
Jason Allred, Pepperdine
Bret Guetz, TCU
Jason Hartwick, Texas
John Holmes, Kentucky
John Kidwell, Oklahoma
Eric Jorgensen, Michigan State
Justin Smith, Minnesota
Johnson Wagner, Virginia Tech
Justin Walters, N.C. State
Matt Weibring, Georgia Tech
PING All-America Honorable Mention
Matt Anderson, Minnesota; Ricky Barnes, Arizona; Michael Beard, Pepperdine; Camilo Benedetti, Florida; Ramon Bescansa, North Carolina; Jonathan Echols, Fresno State; Cody Freeman, Oklahoma; Scott Hailes, New Mexico; Matt Hansen, Pacific; Franklin Hatchett, SMU; Brad Heaven, Toledo; Anders Hultman, Oklahoma State; Shiv Kapur, Purdue; James Lepp, Illinois; Billy Lowry, Tulsa; Chris Marshall, Kansas; Jamie McLeary, Baylor; John Merrick, UCLA; Adam Meyer, Baylor; David Miller, Georgia; Ryan Moore, UNLV; Garth Mullroy, N.C. State; Chris Nallen, Arizona; Par Nilsson, Oklahoma State; Chris Noel, Tulsa; Phil Rowe, Stanford; Adam Rubinson, TCU; Andy Smith, SE Louisiana; Nick Thompson, Georgia Tech; J.J. Wall, Texas; Michael Webb, Augusta State; Lee Williams, Auburn; Chan Wongluekiet, Georgia Tech