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2018 Division II Jack Nicklaus Award presented by Barbasol Finalists Announced


MOLINE, Ill. – Five finalists have been named for the 2018 Division II Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol. Reigning Nicklaus Award recipient Chandler Blanchet of West Florida leads a finalist group that includes Zach James of Southeastern Oklahoma State, Grand Valley State’s Alex Scott, John VanDerLaan of Florida Southern, and Delta State’s Zach Zediker. 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.

Blanchet has posted five victories this season. A senior from Gainesville, Fla., he has four additional top 10 finishes and placed no worse than T17 in 11 events. The Gulf South Conference Men’s Golfer of the Year, Blanchet has carded a 69.58 stroke average.

James, a junior from Whitesboro, Texas, was named Great American Conference Golfer of the Year. He has turned in 20 of 29 rounds at par of better, nine of them in the 60s. James claimed three tournament victories and finished sixth or better in every event of the season.

Scott was tabbed Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year. A junior from Traverse City, Mich., he has won or shared medalist honors five times. In his 11 appearances this season, Scott has yet to finish outside of the top 16, and has recorded 10 top-10 finishes.

The top-ranked player in Division II by Golfstat, VanDerLaan also leads the division in score vs. par and adjusted stroke average with 69.12. The Southbury, Conn, product, has tied for first or won outright seven times his senior campaign. VanDerLaan has placed in the top-10 in all but one of Florida Southern’s 11 tournaments this season. He was previously named Sunshine State Conference Men’s Golfer of the Year.

A Panama City, Fla., native, Zediker won or shared medalist honors twice this season. The sophomore posted seven additional top 10 finishes. Zediker was only outside the top 10 once, T19, in 10 tournaments. He was named All-Gulf South Conference.

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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