Thornberry Named Semifinalist for Jack Nicklaus Award
May 1, 2018

NORMAN, Okla. - Ole Miss junior Braden Thornberry, the No. 1 amateur golfer in the world, has been named a semifinalist for the 2018 Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced Tuesday afternoon. Thornberry is one of 30 Division I golfers up for the award.

The honor adds to the list of recognitions for Thornberry this season. The reigning national champion is also a semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award, an honor given to the best collegiate golfer in the country. Thornberry finds himself on the watch list for the Fred Haskins Award, another award for the nation's top collegiate golfer, which he won last year.

Coming off a season in which he won the NCAA Championship and held the lowest stroke average in the country, Thornberry has continued his success on the golf course as a junior. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, native has earned four individual victories this season to increase his career total to 11, an Ole Miss record. He won the season-opening Shoal Creek Invitational (Sept. 25-26) before claiming the Franklin Mortgage Intercollegiate at The Grove (Oct. 9-10). In March, he led the Rebels to a team victory at the Hootie at Bulls Bay (March 25-27) while finishing at the top of the individual leaderboard. Last month, he cruised to a five-stroke victory by ending the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship at 12-under par.

Thornberry holds a sub-70 stroke average (69.88) for the second straight year, helping him land at No. 1 in the World Golf Amateur Ranking. Golfweek/ also ranks the Rebel as the best amateur golfer in the world. Thornberry is the only SEC golfer to earn two SEC Golfer of the Week honors this season, competing in one of the best conferences in college golf (12 teams ranked in Golfstat's top 50, eight ranked in the top 25). He has shot 66-or-lower five times this season, while leading Ole Miss in nine of the team's 11 tournaments. Thornberry ranks fifth nationally in Golfstat's adjusted scoring average (69.89).

Division I finalists for the award will be named May 24. Nicklaus Award recipients will be announced May 31 with the honor presented by Jack Nicklaus at a ceremony during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide at Muirfield Village Golf Club. 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 16-22, at the Champions at Keene Trace in Lexington, Kentucky.

Thornberry and the Rebels await their placement to one of six possible regional sites for the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Ole Miss will learn its destination tomorrow evening at 5 p.m CT as Golf Channel broadcasts the tournament selection show.

For all Ole Miss Men's Golf news and information, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMGolf, on Instagram at OleMissMGolf and on Facebook at Ole Miss Men's Golf.

Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award Semifinalists
Dawson Armstrong, Lipscomb
Shintaro Ban, UNLV
Zach Bauchou, Oklahoma State
George Cunningham, Arizona
Brad Dalke, Oklahoma
Steven Fisk, Georgia Southern
Stephen Franken, NC State
Luis Gagne, LSU
Doug Ghim, Texas
Will Gordon, Vanderbilt
Nick Hardy, Illinois
Lee Hodges, Alabama
Ian Holt, Kent State
Viktor Hovland, Oklahoma State
Theo Humphrey, Vanderbilt
Brandon Mancheno, Auburn
Garrett May, Baylor
Stefano Mazzoli, TCU
Dylan Meyer, Illinois
Collin Morikawa, California
Kyle Mueller, Michigan
Fredrik Nilehn, Texas Tech
John Pak, Florida State
Chandler Phillips, Texas A&M
Davis Riley, Alabama
Lorenzo Scalise, Tennessee
Justin Suh, Southern California
Braden Thornberry, Ole Miss
Matthew Wolff, Oklahoma State
Norman Xiong, Oregon






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