NORMAN, Okla.June 2, 2008)--Kevin Chappell of UCLA was named the Division I winner of the Jack Nicklaus Award, presented annually to the national player of the year in NCAA Divisions I, II and III and the NAIA.
Chappell earned medalist honors three times this season - the NCAA Division I Men’s Championships, the Pac-10 Men’s Golf Championship and the PING Arizona Intercollegiate. He recorded four other top five finishes and only placed outside of the top 10 twice in 12 stroke-play events during the 2007-08 campaign. Chappell also notched a 4-0 record at the Callaway Golf Collegiate Match Play Championship. In addition to his individual NCAA title, for which he took home the Arnold Palmer Award, (the first for a Bruin men’s golfer), he helped lead UCLA to the team championship.
Chappell joined Sam Cyr of Point Loma Nazarene (NAIA), St. John Fisher’s Scott Harris Jr. (Division III) and Jarin Todd of Sonoma State (Division II) at the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, just outside of Nicklaus’ hometown of Columbus, to receive their trophies from Mr. Nicklaus.
He began the NCAA Championships with birdie on his first hole. He would record four more birdies on the day to finish the opening round at three-under. Chappell had three birdies in his first seven holes during the second round, but finished with a double bogey to fall to fourth place. He rebounded with with six birdies for a four-under third round to claim a four-stroke lead. Chappell bogeyed four holes on the back nine during the final round, but chipped in for bogey after going in the water at 17 to help give UCLA a one-stroke victory in the team race and claim the individual title by three shots.
Chappell ended the 2008 season 19-under par over 34 rounds and set a UCLA single season scoring record at 71.0. He won twice as a senior, raising his career victories total to five. In January, he set the UCLA 54-hole record of 15-under par when he won the PING/Arizona Intercollegiate with scores of 67-67-64--198.
Rickie Fowler of Oklahoma State was named recipient of the Phil Mickelson Award presented by the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation as the most outstanding freshman in Division I men’s golf. He is joined on the All-Freshmen team by Harris English and Russell Henley of Georgia, Stanford’s Sihwan Kim and Kevin O’Connell of North Carolina.
The Big 12 Player of the Year, Fowler has claimed medalist honors twice this season - the Olympia Fields Illini Invitational and the Big 12 Men’s Championship. He also has a pair of runner-up finishes, three fourth-place showings and has placed no lower than eighth in all but two events in his freshman campaign. The Murrieta, California, native has been named to the 2008 Palmer Cup presented by Monster team.
Southern California's Chris Zambri was honored with the Dave Williams Award as the national coach of the year.
Zambri guided the Trojans to five tournament victories this season - the USC Invitational, United States Collegiate Championship, U.S. Intercollegiate, Pac-10 Men’s Golf Championship and the NCAA West Regional. Southern California placed outside of the top three only twice in 12 events this season. Two Trojan golfers - Rory Hie and Jamie Lovemark - were awarded PING First-Team All-America honors. Previously this season Zambri has been named Pac-10 Coach of the Year and the Eaton Golf Pride Division I Pacific Region Coach of the Year.