Recent Florida Tech grad Max O’Hagan is a finalist for the 2020 Jack Nicklaus NCAA Division II National Player of the Year Award, and Eastern Florida State College sophomore Thomas Matthews is a finalist in the NJCAA division.
Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA champion at Ohio State, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988, now presented to the National Player of the year in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, as well as NAIA and NJCAA. Recipients of the award will be announced during the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, scheduled July 13-19.
This is not the first time O’Hagan has been up for the Player of the Year Award. He was a semifinalist each of the previous two seasons in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
O’Hagan, a product of Surrey, England, was recently tabbed a Division II PING First Team All-American by the GCAA, his fourth career All-America honor. The award comes after a season in which O’Hagan recorded six top-8 results in the seven tournaments he competed while also shooting par or better in 14 of those 20 rounds. He finished the 2019-20 campaign as the No. 3 ranked golfer in the nation, according to Golfstat’s DII Ranking.
This year, O’Hagan set program season records for scoring average (70.90), average score vs. par (-0.80) and par-4 scoring (3.955).
O’Hagan is one of five finalists for the Division II National Player of the Year, joining Dan Bradbury of Lincoln Memorial, Vincent Norrman of Georgia Southwestern, Elis Svard of CSU Monterey Bay, and Delta State’s Zach Zediker.
Matthews finished his sophomore season with a stroke average of 72.05 and finished in the top five in all six events including a win and two runner-up finishes.
The Wrexham, Wales, native was named to the NJCAA PING All-American First Team earlier this month and is one of six finalists for the National Player of the Year Award.
Matthews becomes the second player from the EFSC men’s golf program to be a finalist for the award. Kerry Sweeney won the award in both 2015 and 2016.
Matthews, who was a semifinalist for the award as a freshman, joins Hutchinson College’s Charlie Crockett, Mesa’s Trey Fessler, Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Jon Hopkins, Ranger’s Jacob Skov Oleseon and South Mountain’s Gabriel Salvanera as finalists for the award.
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