Atlanta, GA – June 5, 2015 – Anthony Maccaglia of the Oglethorpe men’s golf team earned a fitting capstone to his senior season and his outstanding four-year career as he was officially announced as the winner of the 2015 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award for NCAA Division III by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). It marks the second time that a member of the Oglethorpe men’s golf team has taken the honor, with Trent Erb earning the nod in 2004.
Maccaglia will join his four fellow Jack Nicklaus Award winners this weekend at the prestigious Memorial Tournament at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, for a full slate of activities which will include having their awards presented to them by Jack Nicklaus himself and having the chance to play for a spot in a PGA Tour event for the first time ever.
Division I winner Maverick McNealy from Stanford, Division II winner Santiago Gomez from Nova Southeastern, NAIA winner Sean Elliott from Dalton State, junior college winner Kerry Sweeney from Eastern Florida State College, and Maccaglia will take part in an 18-hole playoff at the Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday afternoon. That event will tee off at 12:10 p.m. from the historic golf course, which served as a training ground for Nicklaus himself. At the conclusion of the 18-hole, stroke-play event, the winner will receive an invitation to the Barbasol Championship, a PGA Tour event to be played at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National in Opelika, Ala., July 16-19.
The following morning, all five honorees will have their awards presented to them in person by Nicklaus during the final round of the Memorial Tournament back at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Maccaglia, who hails from Tampa, Fla., is one of the most decorated student-athletes in Oglethorpe history. He has led the Stormy Petrels to four consecutive trips to the NCAA Division III Championship, including winning an individual and team national title in his freshman season. In all, he has garnered four consecutive selections to the Division III PING First Team All-American squad and has won 13 individual titles and 11 tournament medals in his career while recording an astounding 27 Top 5 finishes.
He earned the school’s first SAA Man of the Year Award, the highest honor the Southern Athletic Association can bestow on a male athlete, last month. The SAA Man and Woman of the Year awards are given to the male and female senior class nominees who best exemplify traits of leadership, character, and athletic and academic success.
Maccaglia finished the season as the top-ranked Division III golfer in the nation according to Golfstat and earned SAA Men’s Golfer of the Year honors for the second consecutive season. He finished tied for second at the NCAA Division III Championship in May, marking the second time in his career he has been either the national medalist or the national runner-up. He was a finalist for the Byron Nelson Award this season, which considers an entire collegiate academic and golf career as well as a nominee’s character and integrity while in college and is awarded regardless of division.
Maccaglia was named a Division III Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar last month by the GCAA, as well as a Division III PING All-Southeast Region honoree for the fourth consecutive year. He also earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-District Men’s At-Large Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, for the second consecutive year. That automatically nominates him for Academic All-America consideration by the same organization.
“Winning the Jack Nicklaus Award is the culmination of one of the greatest NCAA Division III golf careers of all-time,” said Head Coach Jim Owen. “Anthony completes a real triple crown of sorts, having earned the Phil Mickelson Award for national freshman of the year, the Arnold Palmer Award for being the NCAA Championship medalist, and now the Jack Nicklaus Award for national player of the year. Throw in being the first-ever Division III golfer to make the Palmer Cup team and this is a great final brush stroke for his illustrious career.”
“Seeing Anthony walk across the stage late last month to receive his diploma was a bittersweet moment for me,” Owen continued. “It hit me that this was the end of his time at Oglethorpe. I’m sure we’ll see him again down the road, though. It’s been a distinct pleasure to be his coach these four years!”
Since 1988, the award for the GCAA Collegiate Players of the Year have been named after Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA champion and GCAA All-American at The Ohio State University. Winners of the Nicklaus Award include Tiger 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) and Justin Thomas (2012) among many others. Award recipients have combined for over 200 victories worldwide and claimed 22 major championships.