AWARD: Hill named to prestigious All-Nicklaus Team

Friday, June 22, 2018
by Wes Bloomquist |

TYLER – UT Tyler senior Sam Hill has been named one of 24 honorees throughout all division of collegiate golf for the 2018 All-Nicklaus Team presented by Barbasol as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). Players from Divisions I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA were recognized for their outstanding play during the 2017-18 collegiate season. Hill, who is the first player in UT Tyler history to earn the honor, is one of only three NCAA DIII players to earn a spot on the team.

The All-Nicklaus Team was created in 2008, and is not only named for history’s greatest player but also a long-time supporter of collegiate and amateur golf. Jack 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. Award recipients have combined for over 200 victories worldwide and claimed 23 major championships.

“I am very proud of the season I put together and it wouldn’t have been possible without my teammates and coaches,” Hill said. “Personally, I believe my game grew the most this past year and I give credit to my team as we pushed each other in the gym, in the classroom, and on the course. At the beginning of the year, my main goals were to win nationals as a team and become a first team All-American. Although we came up a little short at nationals, I was still very proud of everything this team accomplished over the year. Lastly, finishing my collegiate career as a first team All-American is something I will always be proud of and it’s special to join such a great list of players at this University.”

A senior from Orlando, Hill earned PING First-Team All-America honors after finishing sixth at the NCAA Championship tournament in mid-May at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina. He helped to lead the Patriots to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championship for the second straight season. Hill is now a two-time PING All-America in his UT Tyler career after also securing the honor as a junior. A finalist for the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year honor, Hill has seven top-10 finishes in his senior season and posted a 72.04 scoring average which is the lowest in UT Tyler program history and was ranked second in the nation this season. He finished his collegiate career by shooting 74-70-70-74 – 288 (even-par) for sixth at the NCAA tournament.

Hill finished as the Gordin Classic runner-up by shooting 71-72-71 – 214 for his top finish in the fall and then took third at the American Southwest Conference Preview with a 72-72 – 144. Along with earning back-to-back PING All-America honors, Hill was named a PING All-West Region selection, a Srixon/Cleveland All-America Scholar, ASC Player of the Year, ASC First-Team All-Conference and was a two-time ASC Golfer of the Week selection in the 2017-18 season.

“Sam had statistically the best season in program history and has been very consistent all four years I have coached him,” said UT Tyler coach Michael McMunn, who coached Hill at Piedmont College for two years before both came to UT Tyler last year. “I’m going to miss having him around. He has all these accomplishments but most importantly he has been a great teammate and mentor to his teammates.”

The All-Nicklaus team is comprised of Shintaro Ban of UNLV, West Florida’s Chandler Blanchet, Callum Bruce of Midland College, South Mountain’s Leon D’Souza, Doug Ghim of Texas, Hope’s Josh Gibson, Nick Hardy of Illinois, UT Tyler’s Sam Hill, Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff of Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt’s Theo Humphrey, Isaiah Jackson of Meridian, Oklahoma City’s Rupert Kaminski, SM Lee of Dalton State, Texas Wesleyan’s Rowan Lester, Collin Morikawa of California, Washington & Lee’s Brian Peccie, Chandler Phillips of Texas A&M, Julien Sale of Indian Hills, Grand Valley State’s Alex Scott, Justin Suh of Southern California, Florida Southern’s John VanDerLaan, Andrew Williamson of Wayland Baptist, and Oregon’s Norman Xiong.

2018 All-Nicklaus Team presented by Barbasol
Shintaro Ban, UNLV
Chandler Blanchet, West Florida
Callum Bruce, Midland College
Leon D’Souza, South Mountain
Doug Ghim, Texas
Josh Gibson, Hope
Nick Hardy, Illinois
Sam Hill, UT Tyler
Viktor Hovland, Oklahoma State
Theo Humphrey, Vanderbilt
Isaiah Jackson, Meridian
Rupert Kaminski, Oklahoma City
SM Lee, Dalton State
Rowan Lester, Texas Wesleyan
Collin Morikawa, California
Brian Peccie, Washington & Lee
Chandler Phillips, Texas A&M
Julien Sale, Indian Hills
Alex Scott, Grand Valley State
Justin Suh, Southern California
John VanDerLaan, Florida Southern
Andrew Williamson, Wayland Baptist
Matthew Wolff, Oklahoma State
Norman Xiong, Oregon