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2022 Division III Jack Nicklaus Award Finalists Announced

NORMAN, Okla. – Five finalists have been named for the 2022 Division III Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award. They are Nicholas Gianelos of Babson, Will Hocker of Webster, Cooper Hrabak of Methodist, Jackson Klutznick of Emory, and William Knauth of Carnegie Mellon. The winner will be announced on June 5 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, and presented by award namesake Jack Nicklaus during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday.

Gianelos, the Babson Male Athlete of the Class and top-five finisher in every 2021-22 tournament he played in, is currently the fifth-ranked player in Division III according to Golfstat. His 71.17 stroke average this spring and 72.47 career average are both the lowest in program history for the Beavers. 

The SLIAC Men’s Golfer of the Year, Hocker recently won his second-career SLIAC Men’s Golf Championship for his 14th-career collegiate victory. He is just the fourth player in SLIAC history to win multiple SLIAC Men's Golf Championships and won SLIAC Men’s Golfer of the Week five times in 2021-22. Hocker ranks seventh in Division III in Golfstat’s individual rankings after averaging a 70.13 over 24 rounds played.  

Hrabak averaged a 71.2 over 25 rounds this season and won three of his five top-five finishes for the Monarchs. He was named USA South Player of the Year and is currently ranked third according to Golfstat’s individual rankings.

Klutznick, who is ranked second in Golfstat with a 70.18 over 17 rounds played, placed in the top 12 in each of the five tournaments he participated in and set the Emory program record for average scoring in a single season. He was named UAA Sophomore Rookie of the Year and First-Team All-UAA for the Eagles.

Knauth set the Carnegie Mellon program record for lowest individual round and tied the school record for the lowest 36-hole tournament score during the 2021-22 season while earning UAA Player of the Year and UAA Championship Most Valuable Golfer. He is currently first in Division III as an individual with an adjusted scoring average of 71.00 through 22 rounds and recorded 15 rounds this season of even-par or under for the Tartans. 

All five finalists are competing this week at the 2022 NCAA Division III Championships at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.

Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at Ohio State, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988. The award is now presented to the National Player of the year in NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, as well as NAIA and NJCAA.