NORMAN, Okla. -- The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) has announced that recent Washington and Lee graduate Nathaniel James (Keller, Texas/Keller) is among 20 honorees for the inaugural All-Nicklaus Team, which recognizes Division I, II, III and NAIA golfers for their outstanding play during the 2007-08 collegiate season.
The AllâNicklaus Team was created this year and is not only named for history's greatest player, but also a longâtime supporter of collegiate and amateur golf. Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988. The Nicklaus Award is annually given to the top collegiate men¹s golfer in Division I, II, III and the NAIA.
The All-Nicklaus Team is highlighted by 2008 Nicklaus Award Winners Kevin Chappell of UCLA, Point Loma Nazarene's Sam Cyr, Scott Harris, Jr., of St. John Fisher and Sonoma State's Jarin Todd. The balance of the AllâNicklaus team is comprised of James, Jonas Blixt of Florida State, Oklahoma Christian's Bruno Buccolo, Jorge Campillo of Indiana, Oklahoma State's Rickie Fowler, Rory Hie and Jamie Lovemark of Southern California, Sihwan Kim of Stanford, Boise State's Troy Merritt, Cory Renfrew of British Columbia, Joe Schoolmeesters of Saint John's (Minn.), Wake Forest's Webb Simpson, Joel Sjoholm of Georgia State, Alabama's Michael Thompson, Brent Witcher of Valdosta State and Armstrong Atlantic State's Chris Wolfe.
James has already been named the 2008 recipient of the GCAA's Byron Nelson Award and he was a First Team All-ODAC, First Team All-South Region and First Team All-America selection during the 2008 season. He also garnered the ODAC Golfer of the Year and ODAC Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards and he received the Doc Jopson Award as the top male student-athlete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
James won the ODAC Individual Championship this spring and helped lead the Generals to their first ODAC title since 1999 and first NCAA Team Championship berth since 1991. Individually, he finished third out of 180 competitors at the 2008 NCAA Division III Golf Championship with a score of 73-74-72-73--292 (+8). He also helped the Generals to a 16th-place finish out of 35 in the team portion of the event.
A Third Team All-American as a sophomore and a First Team All-America and Scholar All-America choice each of the past two seasons, James ranked No. 1 in Division III this year with a 72.6 stroke average over 25 rounds played. He posted a 73.8 career scoring average and he never carded a score higher than 81 over his 94 career rounds.
2008 AllâNicklaus Team
Jonas Blixt, Florida State
Bruno Buccolo, Oklahoma Christian
Jorge Campillo, Indiana
Kevin Chappell, UCLA
Sam Cyr, Point Loma Nazarene
Rickie Fowler, Oklahoma State
Scott Harris Jr., St. John Fisher
Rory Hie, Southern California
Nathaniel James, Washington and Lee
Sihwan Kim, Stanford
Jamie Lovemark, Southern California
Troy Merritt, Boise State
Cory Renfrew, British Columbia
Joe Schoolmeesters, Saint John's (Minn.)
Webb Simpson, Wake Forest
Joel Sjoholm, Georgia State
Michael Thompson, Alabama
Jarin Todd, Sonoma State
Brent Witcher, Valdosta State
Chris Wolfe, Armstrong Atlantic State