Point University senior Ruan Pretorius, a native of South Africa, received the 2021 Jack Nicklaus Award recognizing him as the top golfer in NAIA at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, on Sunday.
The award, presented annually by True Spec Golf, 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,” Nicklaus said at the ceremony.
“This award means so much, not only to Ruan but to Point University,” said Shannon Lipham, head coach at Point, located in West Point, Ga. “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.”
In May, Pretorius led the Skyhawks to a fourth-place finish at the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship; Pretorius finished fifth in that tournament.
“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.”
Pretorius finished the season as the No. 1 NAIA player in Golfstat; he carried a 71.53 scoring average and was a combined 81-2 against Golfstat’s top 100 NAIA players.