The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) has announced that Washington and Lee senior Nathaniel James (Keller, Texas/Keller) is the 2008 recipient of the Byron Nelson Award, which is presented by Cleveland Golf in conjunction with the Four Seasons Resort and Club Las Colinas, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas and Friends of Golf.
The Byron Nelson Award is presented annually to a graduating senior and is judged on the entire academic and golf career, along with character and integrity while in college. Particular consideration is given to a nominee's good citizenship, as portrayed by Mr. Byron Nelson over the course of his life and golf career. James is the first Division III Player to garner the award since its inception in 2002. Among the other finalists for the 2008 award were: Bruno Buccolo of Oklahoma Christian, Jonas Enander Hedin of UNC Charlotte, Rob Grube of Stanford and Joseph Sykora of Alabama.
James is a four-year letterwinner and a team captain for the Generals. He is a four-time First Team All-ODAC honoree and a two-time winner of the ODAC Golfer of the Year and ODAC Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards. The ODAC Rookie of the Year in 2005, James won the ODAC Individual Championship this spring in leading the Generals to their first conference title since 1999. He then finished in a tie for third out of 180 competitors at the 2008 NCAA Division III Golf Championship with a score of 73-74-72-73--292 (+8). He also helped the Generals to a 16th-place finish out of 35 in the team portion of the event.
A Third Team All-American as a sophomore and a First Team All-America choice each of the past two seasons, James ranked No. 1 in Division III this year with a 72.6 stroke average over 25 rounds played. James posted a 73.8 career scoring average and he never carded a score higher than 81 over his 94 career rounds.
A politics major with a GPA in excess of 3.5, James has been inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, a college honor society that recognizes meritorious leadership, service in extracurricular activities and encourages the development of general campus citizenship. He also is a student advisor for the Generals Christian Fellowship Organization and, over the past three summers, James has worked for Leadership Expedition, a three‑week leadership program for young men.
James will continue his education at the Washington and Lee School of Law this fall.
BYRON NELSON AWARD WINNERS
2002 Jason Allred, Pepperdine
2003 Troy Matterson, Georgia Tech
2004 Billy Hunter, Navy
2005 Michael Putnam, Pepperdine
2006 Zack Robinson, Oklahoma State
2007 Sam Korbe, Tulsa & Roberto Castro, Georgia Tech
2008 Nathaniel James, Washington and Lee