ASU golfer earns prestigious Jack Nicklaus Award

By

Sarah Edwards

Recent Arizona State University graduate and member of the Sun Devil golf team Jon Rahm won the prestigious Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award, becoming the second ASU student to receive the honor.

The award, presented by Barbasol, recognizes top players at the Division I, II and III levels of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the National Junior College Athletic Association. Rahm is among only four other players from across the country to be recognized. ASU alumnus Phil Mickelson, who has won more than 40 events on the Professional Golfers' Association Tour, previously received the award three times from 1990 to 1992.

In 2012, Rahm arrived in the United States from Barrika, Spain. Although he faced a language barrier and unfamiliar surroundings on campus, Rahm embraced the challenges and went on to become one of the team’s most successful players while pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in communication.

To celebrate his achievement, Rahm traveled to Dublin, Ohio, and met Jack Nicklaus during the final round of the 2016 Memorial Tournament, an event honoring those who have contributed to the game of golf over the years, at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Jack Nicklaus, the now retired professional golfer who won 18 career major championships, created the award in 1988.

Rahm joined fellow recipients John Coultas (Florida Southern), Addison Lambeth (Huntingdon), Peter French (Johnson & Wales) and Kerry Sweeney (Eastern Florida State) to compete in the Barbasol Shootout, an 18-hole course at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, on June 4.

Rahm picked up the winning prize in the Shootout: a coveted spot in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship on July 14-17. He will also qualify for the 2017 Memorial Tournament.

“To earn the exemption, regardless of division, offers a unique and life-changing opportunity to play in a PGA TOUR event,” said Tom Murray, president and CEO of Perio Inc., the parent company of Barbasol.

Rahm became the first Sun Devil to earn first-team All-American honors twice in a career since former ASU men’s golfer Alejandro Canizares in 2003 and 2006. All-American honors are awarded annually by the Golf Coaches Association of America for Division I, II and III. Since 1958, only three schools have more All-Americans than ASU. 

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