Jack Nicklaus Award NAIA Finalists presented by Barbasol Named
NORMAN, Okla. – Five finalists have been named for the 2016 NAIA Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol. Peter French (Johnson & Wales (FL)), Rupert Kaminski and Anthony Marchesani (both of Oklahoma City), Billy McKenzie (William Woods) and Andrew Williamson (Wayland Baptist) are finalists for the award. The winner will be announced June 2 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, and presented by award namesake Jack Nicklaus at a ceremony 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 14-17, at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National in Opelika, Ala. The Barbasol Shootout will be held Saturday, June 4 at storied Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio — the same club where Jack Nicklaus learned the game of golf as a young boy.
French posted thee victories this season, including The Sun Conference title. Additionally, he recorded three additional top-five finishes and placed in the top 10 nine times. French enters the NAIA National Championships with a 72.14 scoring average. Earlier this month, he was named The Sun Conference Player of the Year.
Kaminski won three times in 2015-16, including Sooner Athletic Conference medalist honors. He was also runner-up once and placed inside the top 10 seven times in 10 events. Kaminski’s stroke average is 71.15. He was named Sooner Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.
An All-Sooner Athletic Conference selection, Marchesani claimed one victory, the NAIA Fall Preview, this season. He was runner-up to teammate Kaminski at the Sooner Athletic Conference Championships and posted eight top-10 finishes in 10 events. His stroke average is 72.33. Marchesani was also named a Nicklaus Award finalist in 2015.
Also a Nicklaus Award finalist last season, McKenzie has won five tournaments during his junior campaign. He has only finished outside the top six twice in 11 events. McKenzie currently sports a 71.79 stroke average. He was named American Midwest Player of the Year.
Williamson has one victory this season. He also posted two runner-up finishes and seven total top 10s. Williamson’s worst finish in nine tournaments was tied for 18th. His stroke average is 71.64. Williamson was named Sooner Athletic Conference Player of 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 Divisions I and II.
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