The Golf Coaches Association of America has named Washington and Lee senior Nathaniel James (Keller, Texas/Keller) as a finalist for the 2008 Byron Nelson Award, which is presented by Cleveland Golf in cooperation with the Four Seasons Resort and Club Las Colinas and the Salesmanship Club of Dallas.
James is one of five finalists for the award that is presented 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.
Other finalists for the award include 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.
A Third Team All-American as a sophomore and a First Team All-America choice last spring, James ranked No. 1 in Division III this year with a 72.5 stroke average over 21 rounds played. A politics major with a GPA in excess of 3.5, James has a 73.8 career scoring average and he has never posted a score higher than 81 over 90 career rounds. Also on the watch list for the Jack Nicklaus Award for the top collegiate golfer, James received the Cleveland Golf Scholar All-America award following his junior season and he has been inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society.
Washington and Lee will compete at the 2008 NCAA Division III Golf Championship on May 13-16 at the Chateau Elan Resort in Braselton, Ga.