2020 Jack Nicklaus Award Finalists Named
NORMAN, Okla. — The Golf Coaches Association of America has announced its finalists for the 2020 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Golf.com. Recipients of the award will be announced during the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, scheduled July 13-19.
“I have a special place in my heart for this award, and it’s always been a highlight for us at the Memorial Tournament when we have the opportunity to recognize these young men,” Nicklaus said. “Like so many student-athletes around the world, these golfers have been stripped of competition, championships and other moments to create lasting memories. I am delighted to see that the GCAA and Golf.com have worked to keep this well-deserved honor moving forward.”
“The Jack Nicklaus award is such a prestigious award for many reasons. Simply put, Jack Nicklaus embodies the gold standard in the game of golf,” said GCAA President Greg Sands. “It’s extremely exciting to see these student-athletes be recognized for their hard work, commitment, and dedication. On behalf of the GCAA and our entire coaching community, we are thrilled to honor this award during such unique times.”
Division I Finalists
John Augenstein of Vanderbilt, Baylor’s Cooper Dossey, Garett Reband of Oklahoma, Sahith Theegala of Pepperdine, and Georgia’s Davis Thompson are the finalists for Division I.
• Augenstein had one victory during the 2019-20 season, where he shot a Vanderbilt program-low round of 63 en route to a win at the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate. The Owensboro, Ky., native posted a 69.95 scoring average over 19 rounds during his senior year, with seven of the rounds being in the 60s. Augenstein also had two other top-five finishes, one top-10 finish, and was named a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award.
• Dossey owns a school single-season record 69.72 scoring average in 18 rounds played during the 2019-20 season, with 14 of his rounds at 70 or below. The senior had a pair of victories, two runner-up finishes, and finished top-25 in all six events.
• A Fort Worth, Texas, native, Reband posted a 69.39 scoring average during his senior campaign. Six of his 18 rounds being in the 60s. The senior tied for first at the Puerto Rico Classic and earned six top-10 finishes.
• Theegala won a pair of tournaments, claiming victories at the Southwest Invitational and the Alister Mackenzie Invitational. The Chino Hills, Calif., native also posted four top-10 finishes and finished inside the top-20 in all eight events. The senior finished the season with a 69.04 scoring average over 24 rounds played and was named a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award.
• Thompson had one victory in 2019-20, winning the Jim Rivers Invitational. A native of Auburn Ala., Thompson also had four additional top-10 showings. He ended his season with a scoring average of 69.95, including nine rounds in the 60s.
Division II Finalists
Division II finalists included Dan Bradbury of Lincoln Memorial, Vincent Norrman of Georgia Southwestern, Max O’Hagan of Florida Tech, Elis Svard of CSU Monterey Bay, and Delta State’s Zach Zediker.
• Bradbury posted a scoring average of 70.25 his junior campaign. He won three tournaments, claiming victories at the State Farm Intercollegiate, Men’s South Region Preview, and the Battle at Hilton Head. Bradbury also had four other top-five finishes and finished inside the top-25 in all eight events.
• Norrman, a senior from Stockholm, Sweden, won five times and finished inside the top-10 in all seven events played. He finished with a scoring average of 69.25 and was ranked No. 1 in the Golfstat NCAA Division II ranking.
• O’Hagan claimed one victory and finished inside the top-eight in six of his seven events. The Surrey, England, native shot par or better in 14 of his 20 rounds played and is ranked No. 3 in the Golfstat NCAA Division II rankings.
• During 2019-20, Svard lowered his school record stroke average after posting a 71.18 average. The senior won the Dennis Rose Invitational, claimed five top-five finishes, and finished inside the top-10 in all six events.
• Zediker claimed four victories during his senior campaign and finished with a 68.67 stroke average. The Panama City, Fla., native opened the season with a runner up finish at the Cougar Invitational, before rattling off four straight victories. Zediker finished the season ranked No. 2 in the Golfstat NCAA Division II rankings.
Division III Finalists
Division III finalists for the award included Emmet Herb of St. Thomas (MN), Jason Li of Carnegie Mellon, Drew Mathers of Huntingdon, Cade Osgood of Southwestern (TX), and Rob Wuethrich of Illinois Wesleyan.
• Herb posted a scoring average of 71.41 over the course of the season and shot 71 or better in 12 of his 15 rounds played. Herb claimed a victory at the MIAC meet and was ranked No. 4 in the final Golfstat NCAA Division II ranking.
• Li finished 2019-20 with a scoring average of 70.90 through 14 rounds played. The junior shot par or lower in 10 of his 14 rounds played. Li finished the season ranked No. 6 in the final Golfstat NCAA Division III ranking.
• Mathers averaged a 69.29 scoring average this season. In his 17 rounds played the senior had 13 rounds of par or better, and posted eight rounds in the 60s. The Mobile, Ala., native ranked No. 2 in the Golfstat NCAA Division III rankings and was the only Division III golfer named to the Ben Hogan Award watchlist.
• Osgood registered a school-record 71.62 scoring average over 13 rounds. The senior finished the season ranked No. 6 in the Golfstat Division III rankings which was a school-record finish.
• Wuethrich posted a scoring average of 70.2 and finished the year ranked No. 1 in the final Golfstat NCAA Division III rankings. The junior had four victories, with wins coming at the CCIW Preview, Gordin Collegiate Classic, and Golfweek Fall Preview, and the Tim Kopka Memorial Tournament. Wuethrich did not finish outside the top-six this season.
NAIA finalists include Noah Hofman of Ottawa (AZ), Keiser’s Carl Didrik Meen Fosaas, Dalton State’s Ben Rebne, Eli Scott of Coastal Georgia, and Eric Wowor of Point.
• Hofman finished the season as the top-ranked golfer in the Golfstat NAIA rankings, with a scoring average of 70.05. The senior posted 15 of his 20 rounds under par and won three individual titles.
• Meen Fosaas, a native of Norway, won twice, claiming victories at the Innisbrook Invite and the Adamonis Invite while also finishing inside the top-10 in all 10 tournaments played. The sophomore posted a scoring average of 71.62 and totaled 17 rounds of par or better.
• A Ringgold, Ga., native, Rebne posted a scoring average of 70.89 his senior campaign, and finished the season ranked third in the final NAIA Golfstat Ranking. Rebne won four individual titles, posted five top-five finishes, and never finished outside the top-10 in all six events.
• Scott finished his sophomore season with a scoring average of 71.75. He was sixth in the final NAIA Golfstat Ranking. The sophomore won the Coastal Georgia Invitational, posted three top-five finishes, and finished inside the top-10 in six tournaments played.
• Wowor posted a scoring average of 71.99 this season. The Johannesburg, South Africa, native finished the year ranked ninth in the season’s final Golfstat NAIA ranking.
NJCAA finalists include Charlie Crockett of Hutchinson, Trey Fessler of Mesa, Jon Hopkins of Mississippi Gulf Coast, Tom Matthews of Eastern Florida State, Jacob Skov Oleseon of Ranger, and South Mountain’s Gabriel Salvanera.
• Crockett won three individual titles in six events played, while also registering two top-25 finishes. The sophomore totaled a 72.28 stroke average and had 10 rounds at par or below. Crockett finished the season ranked 12th in the final Golfstat NJCAA DI Ranking.
• Fessler posted a scoring average of 70.86 and was ranked fourth in the final Golfstat NJCAA DI rankings. Fessler opened the season with a runner-up finish at the Desert Classic before adding three more top-five finishes. He did not place outside of the top 25 in any event this year.
• Hopkins recorded a trio of wins during 2019-20, claiming victories at the Itawamba Fall Invite, NJCAA Tournament Preview, and MGCCC Fall invite. The Bishop’s Stortford, England, native also totaled four top-10 finishes over the course of the season. Hopkins tallied a scoring average of 71.74 and was ranked third in the final Golfstat NJCAA DII ranking.
• Matthews finished his sophomore season with a stroke average of 72.05. He earned one individual victory during, two runner-up finishes, and did not place outside the top five in six events.
• Oleseon posted a scoring average of 67.93 his freshman season. He was the top-ranked golfer in NJCAA Division I. The freshman earned three individual victories and three top-10 finishes in six total events this year.
• Salvanera posted a scoring average of 69.33. He was the top-ranked golfer in NJCAA Division II, according to Golfstat. The freshman claimed a pair of victories and finished inside the top five in his other six starts during the year.
Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988 and it is now presented to the National Player of the year in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, as well as NAIA and NJCAA