Eastern Florida’s Kerry Sweeney Is Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Award Finalist
By Mark DeCotis EFSC // May 13, 2016
winner will be announced June 2
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Eastern Florida sophomore men’s golfer Kerry Sweeney is one of six finalists for the 2016 NJCAA Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol.
Other finalists are Jackson Bugdalski (Indian Hills), Stefan Cronje (Midland), Connor Klein (South Mountain), Marco Maldonado (Tyler), and Grant Motter (Mississippi Gulf Coast).
“It’s an honor to be a part of the Nicklaus finalist group,” Sweeney said. “All the hard work comes down to one tournament and overall, I’m honored to be included and mentioned by the GCAA and NJCAA.”
The winner will be announced June 2 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus will present the award at a ceremony during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988. 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.
“Being nominated for the Jack Nicklaus Award as a freshman was special in itself,” said Eastern Florida head coach Jamie Howell.
“To have won the award last year and be named as a finalist again this year, Kerry Sweeney is leaving quite a mark in the NJCAA record books. Kerry is the consummate student-athlete and he represents all that is good about the NJCAA and what we strive for with all of our student-athletes.”
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.
The reigning NJCAA Nicklaus Award recipient, Sweeney has one victory and three runner-up finishes in his sophomore campaign. A native of Melbourne, Florida, Sweeney finished outside the top 10 only twice in nine tournaments. His stroke average is 72.04.
In 2015 Sweeney also was awarded first team PING and first team NJCAA All-American status and won the Phil Mickelson Award Presented by the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation as the most outstanding freshman in NJCAA Division I Men’s Golf.
Sweeney hails from Melbourne, Florida and Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy.
Eastern Florida in April won the NJCAA District 4 title for the third time in the past four seasons and will make its 14th consecutive appearance in the NJCAA Division I national championship tournament May 17-20 at Duran Golf Club in Viera.
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