Dublin, Ohio — Patrick Rodgers of Stanford University, Barry University’s Adam Svensson, Bobby Holden of the University of the Redlands, Oklahoma City University’s James Marchesani and Central Alabama Community College’s Tim Walker have been named the 2014 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award recipients. The Nicklaus Award recognizes the top players at the Division I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA levels.
Division I: A junior from Avon, Ind., Rodgers had six collegiate victories in 2013–14 and tied Tiger Woods’ all-time Stanford record for career wins (11). His season victories have come at the Erin Hills Invitational; The Goodwin; Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters; The Prestige; Pac-12 Championships; and NCAA Eugene Regional. A three-time PING First-Team All-America selection, Rodgers boasts nine top-10 finishes this season. He also won the Ben Hogan Award and was named Pac-12 Player of the Year. Rodgers led Stanford to the NCAA semifinals posting a 2-0 record in match play. He is Stanford’s first Nicklaus Award recipient since Tiger Woods in 1996.
Division II: A two-time PING First-Team All-America selection, Svensson led Barry to back-to-back NCAA Division II Championships. He won seven tournaments this season, which set new single-season and career marks at Barry. Svensson’s worst finish was a tie for 14th, his only showing outside the top eight in 12 events. He twice set school records during his sophomore campaign, including low round (61) and low tournament (13-under 200). Hailing from Surrey Vancouver, B.C., Svensson was named Barry University Male Athlete of the Year. He is Barry’s first Nicklaus Award recipient.
Division III: Holden completed an impressive junior campaign that culminated in winning the NCAA Division III individual national championship. The win at NCAAs was his second of the season. Holden also finished runner-up on four occasions and only finished twice outside the top 10. He was named the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Lee Fulmer Athlete of the Year for Men’s Golf and PING First-Team All-America. In addition, the native of Simi Valley, Calif., illustrates the epitome of the student-athlete with recognition as a Redlands Scholar-Athlete, Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar and being named CoSIDA Academic At-Large All-District. Holden is the first Nicklaus recipient from Redlands.
NAIA: Marchesani earned his fourth PING First-Team All-America recognition this season. The Oklahoma City senior from Rosebud, Victoria, Australia, earned the Arnold Palmer Award for claiming medalist honors at the NAIA Championships. It was one of six victories for Marchesani, including his last five events of the season. He was named Sooner Athletic Conference Golfer of the Year and led the NAIA with a 70.74 stroke average. Marchesani is Oklahoma City’s fifth four-time first-team All-American, fifth NAIA individual champion and helped the Stars claim two team national titles. He is the third Oklahoma City golfer to win the Nicklaus Award and second straight.
NJCAA: Walker came to Central Alabama Community College from Victoria, Australia. The sophomore led Central Alabama by winning three tournaments and finishing second in three others. The top-ranked golfer in the NJCAA, Walker posted 10 top-10 finishes in 12 events and placed no lower than 14th. Academically, Walker was named to the Dean’s List two of his four semesters at Central Alabama where he earned his associate’s degree. He signed a Letter of Intent with Mississippi State University where he will continue his college career. Walker is Central Alabama’s first Nicklaus Award recipient.
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 Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, just outside of Nicklaus’ hometown of Columbus.