by Alan Babbitt
Hope College golfer Josh Gibson is a repeat finalist for the 2019 NCAA Division III Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol.
The reigning Nicklaus Award recipient and Grandville, Michigan native is joined as a finalist by Huntingdon's Drew Mathers and Stephen Shephard, Guilford's James Mishoe, and Washington & Lee's Brian Peccie.
The winner will be announced on May 30. The Award presentation will be held at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, and presented by award namesake Jack Nicklaus during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
"For Josh to be named a finalist two years in a row, that's quite an accomplishment. "It speaks to his consistency as a player," head coach Scott Lokers said. "With Josh, I keep saying it's that combination of God-given talent and hard work. He has gifts and just does everything he can to hone his skills."
Gibson is ending his college career this week by competing at the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships in Nicholasville, Kentucky. He graduated from Hope earlier this month with a degree in engineering.
A two-time Scholar All-American as well, Gibson plans to try professional golf after college. He has his sights set on the Web.com Tour Q-School this fall.
Gibson has posted six victories this season. He has an additional six top-five finishes and has not placed outside the top 10 this season.
Lokers said Gibson's drive to fully enjoy his final college season also has helped him excel on the course.
"He is having fun practicing and playing golf, having fun with his teammates," Lokers said. "That's been a lot of fun for me to watch."
Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988. It is now presented to the National Player of the year in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, as well as NAIA and NJCAA.
In addition to receiving Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award consideration, the five Nicklaus finalists will compete in the Barbasol Shootout for an exemption into the PGA TOUR's Barbasol Championship, held July 18-21, at the Champions at Keene Trace in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Barbasol Shootout will be held on Saturday, June 1 at The Ohio State University Golf Club's Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio - the same club where Jack Nicklaus played collegiate golf for the Buckeyes.