Stanford sophomore Maverick McNealy has received the 2015 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award as the top men's golfer in Division I, as announced Friday. The Nicklaus Award recognizes the top players at the Division I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA levels.
In addition to receiving their Nicklaus Awards, the five recipients of the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Awards will compete in an 18-hole playoff to earn an exemption into the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National in Opelika, Alabama.
Maverick McNealy/photo from thegolfchannel.com
Mr. Nicklaus will recognize the Nicklaus Award recipients the following day during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
McNealy is the second straight Stanford golfer to win the award, as Patrick Rodgers brought home the hardware in 2014. Tiger Woods won the award in 1996.
Even more, McNealy and Rodgers are the first players from the same program to win the award in consecutive seasons.
McNealy's 69.05 single-season stroke average is the second-best in NCAA history, behind only 2004 Nicklaus Award winner Bill Haas (68.93).
Hailing from Portola Valley, McNealy led NCAA Division I with six collegiate victories this season. He posted a dominant 10-stroke win at the Pac-12 Conference Championships where his 18-under score of 262 established a league tournament scoring record.
The Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year and Haskins Award winner claimed medalist honors at the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional, Southwestern Intercollegiate, Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational, The Prestige at PGA West and The Goodwin.
McNealy also was selected to compete this summer on the United States Palmer Cup team.
Since 1988, the award for the GCAA Collegiate Players of the Year have been named after Jack Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA champion and GCAA All-American at Ohio State.
Winners of the Nicklaus Award include Woods (1996), Phil Mickelson (1990-92), David Duval (1993), Justin Leonard (1994), Stewart Cink (1995), Luke Donald (1999), Hunter Mahan (2003), Bill Haas (2004), Ryan Moore (2005), Justin Thomas (2012) and Rodgers (2014). Award recipients have combined for over 200 victories worldwide and claimed 22 major championships.