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2022 NAIA Jack Nicklaus Award Finalists Announced

NORMAN, Okla. – Five finalists have been named for the 2022 NAIA Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award. They are John Houk of Tennessee Wesleyan, Jack Maxey of Keiser, Jakob Stavang Stubhaug of Keiser, Cole Stevens of Point, and Isac Wallin of Keiser. 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.

Houk, the Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Year, is ranked second in Golfstat’s individual rankings with a 69.88 adjusted scoring average. He won six tournaments in 2021-22, including four of his five fall tournaments, and finished in the top 10 in every 2021-22 tournament he played in. 

The Sun Conference Golfer and Freshman of the Year, Maxey led the Seahawks in stroke average and average versus par this season. He produced nine top 10 finishes in 11 2021-22 tournaments played and enters the NAIA Championships ranked first in Golfstat’s rankings with an adjusted scoring average of 71.31.   

Stubhaug earned First-Team All-Sun Conference and recorded nine top 10 finishes this season for Keiser. He ranked second on the team in round average and average versus par and tied for the team lead with 17 rounds of par or better, eight of which were in the 60s. Stubhaug’s adjusted scoring average is 71.59, good for third-best in NAIA according to Golfstat’s rankings. 

Stevens carded eight top-five finishes in 2021-22 and was the only player to finish under par at the Maryville College Invite in March. The First-Team All-AAC and two-time AAC Golfer of the Week is the fourth-ranked player in Golfstat’s rankings with an adjusted scoring average of 72.08.

Wallin made the All-Sun Conference First Team and recorded eight top 20 finishes this season for the Seahawks. He ranks third on the team in average versus par and tallied 15 rounds of par or better, five of which were in the 60s. Wallin is ranked fifth in Golfstat’s individual rankings with a 72.31 adjusted scoring average. 

All five finalists are competing this week at the 2022 NAIA Championships at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.

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.