Wong Earns Nicklaus Award Win

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Eugene Wong from Oregon, North Alabama¹s Brett Munson, Tain Lee of Claremont McKenna, Malone¹s Justin Lower and Odessa College¹s Abraham Ancer have been named the 2010 Jack Nicklaus Award recipients as the Golf Coaches Association of America Collegiate Players of the Year.

A sophomore from North Vancouver, B.C., Wong was the Division I Nicklaus Recipient. Wong was previously named to the PING All-America First-Team, the Pac-10 Co-Golfer of the Year and first-team All-Pac 10. He captured medalist honors twice this season - the USC Collegiate Invitational and the 64th Annual Western Intercollegiate. Wong also carded a pair of runner-up finishes (Stockton Sports Commission Pacific Invitational and Oregon Duck Invitational) and also placed third twice (Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic and ASU Thunderbird Invitational). He had an additional three top-10 showings and only placed out of the top 20 twice. Most recently he tied for ninth at the NCAA Championships and helped Oregon advance to the match play semifinals.

As part of a stellar 2010 campaign, Munson was previously selected to the PING Division II All-America First-Team and first-team All-Gulf South Conference. A senior from Louisville, Ky., he won medalist honors at the GSC Tournament with the lowest 54-hole individual score in the tournament's history. In addition to his record-setting conference victory, Munson won four other times - The Derrall Foreman Invitational, North Alabama Fall Classic, Indian Bayou Classic and Natural State Golf Classic. He also collected five additional top-10 finishes and only finished out of the top 10 twice. Munson¹s worst finish of the season was tied-15th.

Lee, a PING Division III All-America First-Team honoree and SCIAC Player of the Year, won five times this year including the NCAA Championships, SCIAC Championships, the CLU Kingsmen Invitational and CMS Invitational and a dual match with Cal State Fullerton. He has also had three runner-up finishes and two additional top fives. In 13 events, Lee only placed outside the top five three times with his worst finish tied-13th. Lee led the Division III Championships wire-to-wire and birdied three of his last seven holes to secure the victory. Lee is a sophomore from San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

A PING All-America First-Team selection, Lower capped a remarkable junior year by capturing medalist honors at the NAIA National Championships, joining current Pioneer head coach Ken Hyland as the only individual men¹s golf national champions in Malone history. In addition to claiming the NAIA National Title, Lower won seven other tournaments throughout the year and shattered the Pioneer school record for lowest individual round after shooting a six-under-par 64 on the second day of Muskingum University¹s Spring Invitational. A native of Canal Fulton, Ohio, Lower has now claimed All-America recognition in each of his first three seasons at Malone.

Ancer claimed medalist honors six times during his freshman campaign - including stretch of five-of-six events late in the season. A member of the PING NJCAA Division I All-America First-Team, Ancer picked up his first individual title while helping the Wranglers to the team championship at the Odessa College Invitational. He would again enter the winner¹s circle after his victory at The Wrangler. The Mission, Texas, native closed out his first year at Odessa by winning his last four events of the season leading up to the NJCAA Division I Championship - the Green Tree Invitational, the NJCAA Texas State Championship, the District II Championship and the WJCAC Invitational. Ancer finished tied for second at the NJCAA Division I Championships.

Jack Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988. Mr. Nicklaus recognized the recipients during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, just outside of Nicklaus¹ hometown of Columbus.

Release courtesy of the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA)

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