May 9, 2005
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s Nicholas Thompson has been named one of five finalists for the 2005 Byron Nelson Award, presented by Cleveland Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), in cooperation with the Four Seasons Resort and Club Las Colinas and the Salesmanship Club of Dallas.
Candidates for the Nelson must be a graduating senior and the selection committee will consider equally a nominee’s entire collegiate academic career, entire collegiate golf career and his character and integrity while in college. Particular consideration will be given to a nominee’s good citizenship, as portrayed by Mr. Byron Nelson over the course of his life and golf career.
The other finalists for the 2005 Nelson include Scott Anderson of Ohio State, Pepperdine’s Michael Putnam, Augusta State’s Emmett Turner and Lee Williams of Auburn. The recipient of the award will be announced during the NCAA Championships.
A three-time All-ACC selection, Thompson was a PING third-team All-America selection last season after earning honorable mention honors in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. A product of Coral Springs, Fla., he has one collegiate tournament title this season and four other top-10 finishes, and also won the Jones Cup Invitational, a prestigious amateur event, in February. A 2004 Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar, Thompson received an ACC Post-Graduate Scholarship Award.
Thompson, who graduated Saturday with his degree in Management, will likely finish his Tech career with the fifth-best stroke average in school history (currently 72.06). He has been named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team three times in his four years.
A native of Great Falls, Mont., Anderson has posted five top-10 finishes and has not placed outside of the top 20 this season. He has 11 top-10 showings in his career, including a personal best fourth-place showing at the Xavier Intercollegiate his junior season. Anderson has been honored as a Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar, academic All-Big Ten twice and as an Ohio State scholar-athlete three times.
The MVP of last summer’s USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championship, Putnam has earned medalist honors once this season along with two runner-up, four top-five, and an eighth-place finish this season. A Tacoma, Wash., product, Putnam is Pepperdine’s leader in career stroke average and is on pace to break his own single-season record of 71.00. A semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award and member of the 2005 U.S. Palmer Cup presented by Monster team, he was recently named All-West Coast Conference. Putnam has earned All-America honors twice in his career, as well as West Coast Conference Golfer of the Year and All-West Coast Conference three times.
Named to the 2004-05 NCAA All-Independent First Team, Turner has three top-10 finishes this spring. The Greenwood, S.C., native is a two-time NCAA All-Independent Player of the Year and a Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar and has earned PING honorable mention All-America honors. Turner has served as team captain the past two seasons and has been named to the Dean’s list six of seven semesters.
Lee Williams, a native of Alexander City, Ala., was a PING third-team All-America selection as a junior after earning honorable mention offers as a sophomore. He has competed for his country in both in the Walker Cup and as a member of the U.S. World Amateur Team. Williams as five top 10 finishes this season. He is a two-time All-SEC selection.