Alabama freshman Justin Thomas was named the 2012 Jack Nicklaus Award recipient for Division-I men’s golf the Golf Coaches Association of America announced Sunday morning.
Thomas, the Division-I Nicklaus Award recipient, was previously honored with the Phil Mickelson Award presented by the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation as the nation’s outstanding freshman and was named a PING First-Team All-America selection.
A native of Goshen, Ky., Thomas got off to a quick start in his college career, claiming his first tournament the Carpet Capital Collegiate. He would go on to win three more times – the Puerto Rico Classic, SEC Me’s Golf Championship and NCAA Southeast Regional. Thomas finished tied for seventh at the NCAA Championships and collected four other top 10 finishes. He only finished outside of the top 20 twice and was also named the SEC Player and Freshman of the Year.
Thomas was instrumental in helping guide the Crimson Tide into today NCAA Championship Finals against Texas. He posted a school-record 70.44 stroke average, nearly a stroke below par per round (-32, -.89 per round). He also single-season school records in victories (four), counting scores (35) and winning percentage (91.5) while posting the second-most rounds (25) of par or better.
Thomas will be in the fourth match of today’s NCAA Finals against Texas’ first-team All-American and freshman Jordan Spieth.
He is the first Alabama player to win the Nicklaus Award. Since 1988, the award for the GCAA Collegiate Players of the Year has been named after Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University. Nicklaus annually recognizes the recipients during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, just outside of Nicklaus’ hometown of Columbus.
Courtesy UA Media Relations