Jack Nicklaus Award Division I Finalists presented by Barbasol Announced
NORMAN, Okla. – Five finalists have been named for the 2018 Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol. Shintaro Ban of UNLV, Doug Ghim of Texas, Texas A&M’s Chandler Phillips, Justin Suh of Southern California, and Oregon’s Norman Xiong are finalists for the award. The winner will be announced May 31. The Award presentation will be held 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 Nationwide.
In addition to receiving the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award, the five recipients will compete in the Barbasol Shootout for an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Barbasol Championship, held July 16-22, at the Champions at Keene Trace in Lexington, Ky. The Barbasol Shootout will be held Saturday, June 2 at the storied Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio - the same club where Jack Nicklaus first learned the game of golf as a young boy.
Ban, a senior from San Jose, Calif., was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Year. He was also the league’s individual champion, one of four individual titles this season. Ban led UNLV and the conference in scoring average with 69.51 per round and in 13 tournaments has recorded 12 top-20 finishes, eight top-10s and six top-fives. Out of 39 total rounds, he has shot 20 in the 60s and 31 at par or better.
An All-Big 12 selection, Ghim owns a 69.54 scoring average over 28 rounds. The senior from Arlington Heights, Ill., posted three wins, including back-to-back at the Big 12 Championship and the Raleigh Regional. In all, Ghim has six top-10 finishes this season and has placed in the top 20 in eight of nine events. Of his 28 rounds played this season, 14 have been in the 60s and 22 have been at par or better.
A Huntsville, Texas, native, Phillips has won four events this year. An All-SEC selection, he brings a 70.36 stroke average into the NCAA Championship and is on pace to break his own school record set last season. Phillips has posted 27 rounds of par or better in his 36 rounds of competition. In addition to his four wins, he has four other top 10s and only placed outside the top 20 once in 12 events his junior campaign.
A five-time winner his junior season, Suh was named Pac-12 Player of the Year. A San Jose, Calif., product, he leads the Trojans with a stroke average of 68.73, well under the USC record. Suh carded while his 21 rounds in the 60s this year. He also boasts 23 rounds under par and 28 of par or better in 33 rounds played. Suh has eight top four finishes in 10 starts and nine in the top nine.
Xiong has set a school record for wins in a season with six. The sophomore from Canyon Lake, Calif., has a scoring average of 68.74 through 12 tournaments and has shot in the 60s in 22 of his 34 rounds. Xiong was first-team All-Pac 12. He has two additional top 10 finishes and has placed outside the top 25 only once in 12 events.
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.
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