As many of you know the 2014 HP Byron Nelson Championship had two Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award (BNIJGA) recipients in the field – Jordan Spieth (2010) and Scottie Scheffler (2014).
But what ever happened to the other winners?
Well, last week the NCAA held its National Championship at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kansas. The tournament format had teams advancing from several regional sites to the finals at Prairie Dunes. Due to rain the stroke play portion of the tournament was limited to 54 holes. The “cut” was for eight teams to advance to Match Play. The teams that made it to Match Play were – Alabama, LSU, SMU, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Georgia Tech, UCLA & Illinois. Some of our past winners were showcased in this tournament.
In the Semi-Final match Oklahoma State’s Wyndham Clark defeated Viraat Badwhar on the 18th green to clinch the winning point for Oklahoma State to help them advance to the finals. Both Wyndham and Viraat are past winners of the BNIJGA.
In the Final Match, Alabama vs. Oklahoma State, five players, five matches. Of these ten young men four are past winners of the BNIJGA. They are Wyndham Clark (OSU), Bobby Wyatt (Alabama), Cory Whitsett (Alabama) & Robby Shelton (Alabama).
Alabama beat Oklahoma State 4 to 1 to win its second National Championship. An interesting side note …
Of the five points up for grabs in the final match four were won by BNIJGA winners. All four of the boys mentioned above won their matches – Wyatt, Whitsett & Shelton for Alabama & Clark for Oklahoma State.
- The 2014 Phil Mickelson Award, given to the outstanding freshman in college golf, was awarded to Robby Shelton, a past BNIJGA winner.
- In 2012 the Fred Haskins Award (Collegiate Golfer of the Year) was given to Justin Thomas, also a past winner of the BNIJGA.
- In 2013 the Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour was Jordan Spieth, a past winner of the BNIJGA.
- In 2013 Brinson Paolini of Duke University won the Byron Nelson Award, which honors the outstanding senior in college golf for playing ability, academics, character & integrity. Brinson also is a past winner of the BNIJGA.
- In 2012 the NCAA Final Match featured Alabama vs. Texas. Five matches. Ten competitors. Six of these ten competitors were past winners of the BNIJGA. They were Bobby Wyatt, Cory Whitsett, Justin Thomas, Cody Gribble, Dylan Fritelli & Jordan Spieth.
- Emiliano Grillo (2009) currently plays the European PGA Tour.
- Stratton Nolen (2013) won the Texas Public Links Championship this past weekend at Texas Star Golf Club in Euless. Stratton currently plays for Oklahoma State University.