Pretorius Earns Prestigious Jack Nicklaus Award
Point University men’s golf senior Ruan Pretorius received national player of the year recognition on Sunday, as he earned the 2021 Jack Nicklaus Award presented by True Spec Golf, which recognizes the top players at the Division I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA levels.
“If you look at the records of these recipients, each one put together dominating seasons and are very deserving of this honor,” Jack Nicklaus said.
Pretorius, a native of South Africa, finished the season as the No. 1 NAIA player in Golfstat and earned a spot on the GCAA All-Region South team and was named to the NAIA PING All-American First-Team. Pretorius carried a 71.53 scoring average and was a combined 81-2 against Golfstat’s top 100 NAIA players.
“This award means so much, not only to Ruan, but to Point University,” Head Coach Shannon Lipham said. “Ruan is the first Skyhawk golfer to win the Nicklaus Award. It is the biggest honor given in college golf, and it couldn’t go to a more deserving person. It has been my honor to be a part of his journey over the last three years. I’m so proud of the man he has become.”
This past month, Pretorius led the Skyhawks to a fourth-place finish at the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship, in which he finished individually in fifth place with a tournament score of 288.
“I’m very fortunate to be able to get this opportunity,” Pretorius said. “Mr. Nicklaus is one of the greatest players of all time, and after meeting him in person, a great guy too. This opportunity is very humbling.”
Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988, and it is now presented to the National Player of the year in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, as well as NAIA and NJCAA.