(NORMAN, Okla.) – Freshman Jason Li (Sewickley, Pa./Sewickley Academy) of the Carnegie Mellon University men's golf team has been named by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) as a semifinalist for the NCAA Division III Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol. The Nicklaus Award recognizes the top players at the Division I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA levels.
Li, who recently was named University Athletic Association (UAA) Rookie of the Year, is one of 30 Division III golfers who will be considered for the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award.
Li finished the season with a team-best average round of 73.9 through 15 rounds and recorded a season-low round of 70 on four occasions. The freshman turned in his best tournament of the year at the Oglethorpe Royal Lakes Invitational in October. Li tied for third individually in a field of 102 golfers after carding back-to-back rounds of 70 for a 140. His score also tied the third-best 36-hole tournament mark in program history.
The UAA Rookie of the Year won both of his matches during the UAA match play championship in March, topping Jack Mulligan of Rochester 1-up to seal the opening round win for the Tartans. The freshman was down two holes with three to play and finished with a birdie on 16, par on 17, and a birdie on 18 to claim the victory by winning all three. The next day, he knocked off Emory's Eric Yiu 2-and-1 on his way to being named to the UAA Championship All-Tournament team.
The finalists will be announced at the GCAA Division III National Awards Banquet in Greensboro, North Carolina on May 15. The event will serve as part of the festivities surrounding the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship which will be played May 15-18. 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.
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. The Barbasol Shootout will be held Saturday, June 2 at the storied Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio - the same club where Jack Nicklaus first learned the game of golf as a young boy.