Nathan Anderson of Texas Wesleyan Named NAIA Nicklaus Award Winner
Nathan Anderson, a junior at Texas Wesleyan University, has been named the NAIA recipient of the 2012 Jack Nicklaus Award as the Golf Coaches Association of America's NAIA Men's Golf Player of the Year. Anderson received the award from Jack Nicklaus at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, just outside Nicklaus' hometown of Columbus.
The Nicklaus Award recognizes the top players at the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA levels. Since 1988, the award for the GCAA Collegiate Players of the Year has been named after Jack Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University. Mr. Nicklaus annually recognizes the recipients during the final round of the Memorial.
Anderson was a 1st-team NAIA All-American selection after finishing as the individual runner-up, one shot off the lead, at the 61st-Annual NAIA National Championship. Anderson also finished tied for first at the Dallas Baptist Patriot Invitational before falling in a playoff this season. In total, he notched four top-five and five top-ten finishes in nine events, while setting a Texas Wesleyan record for single-season scoring average at 72.08.
Anderson is the first Ram to receive the Jack Nicklaus Award. The Texas Wesleyan Rams have made 51 appearances at the NAIA National Championship in 58 years of membership, winning six national championships and finishing as the national runner-up on nine occasions. The program also boasts an NAIA record nine individual medalists at the national championship and four NAIA Hall of Fame inductees.
Justin Thomas from Alabama, Nova Southeastern's Ben Taylor, Noah Ratner from Guilford, and Jimmy Kozikowski from South Mountain Community College took the award in the NCAA Division I, II, III, and NJCAA categories.