NORMAN, Okla. – Three Huntingdon golfers were recently named semifinalists for the 2019 Division III Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award.
The finalists for Division III will be announced on May 14. The winner will be announced on May 30 with a presentation by Jack Nicklaus at a ceremony during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
This is the fourth straight season at least one Huntingdon golfer has been named to the list of semifinalists. Shephard and Mark Connelly were semifinalists last season, Will Thrash was a semifinalist in 2017 and Addison Lambeth was a semifinalist in 2016 and 2017. Lambeth won the award in 2016.
Gee is the 24th-ranked golfer in the Golfstat Division III rankings and is averaging 72.74 in 27 rounds this season. A first-team all-conference selection, he has shot par or better in 12 rounds this season and has four rounds in the 60s, including a career-best 5-under 67 in the second round of the Rhodes College Fall Classic. His season scoring average and rounds of par-or-better are both currently the fifth most in a season by a Hawk during the NCAA era.
In 10 tournaments this season, he has placed second twice and finished in the top-eight six times. Gee's 11-under-par 205 in the Rhodes College Fall Classic tied what was then the best three-round total by a Hawk during the NCAA era.
Shephard is ranked third in Division III, is averaging 71.33 per round and has 17 rounds of par-or-better in 27 rounds this season. A first-team All-Conference selection this season, Shephard has two wins, two second-place finishes and seven top-six finishes in 10 tournaments.
His scoring average and rounds of par-or-better are both currently the second best in a season by a Hawk during the NCAA era and his two wins are tied for the second most by a Huntingdon golfer during the NCAA era.
Shephard won the Jekyll Island Invitational by setting Huntingdon's NCAA-era record for 54 holes with a 12-under 204, won the Emory Invitational with a 2-under 211, tied for second in the Golfweek D3 Invitational with a 6-under 207 and placed second in the USA South Athletic Conference Tournament with a 5-under 211.
Shephard has 10 rounds in the 60s this season, including a career-best 6-under 66 in the third round at Jekyll Island and the third round of the Rhodes College Fall Classic.
Mathers is ranked second in Division III, is averaging 71.04 per round and has 18 rounds of par-or-better in 24 rounds this season. Mathers' scoring average and rounds of par-or-better are both currently NCAA-era season records for the Hawks.
The USA South Golfer of the Year, Mathers has a Huntingdon NCAA-era record three wins this season to go with two second-place finishes and one sixth-place finish in nine tournaments. He has been the medalist or the runner-up in his last five tournaments.
In his three wins, Mathers shot a 4-under 138 in the O'Briant-Jensen Memorial, shot a 2-under 142 in the Wynlakes Intercollegiate and set the USA South Tournament record with an 11-under 205. The 205 is tied for the second best 54-hole total by a Hawk during the NCAA era.
Mathers has nine rounds in the 60s this season including a career-best 5-under 67 in the opening round of the conference tournament.
The Division III winner of the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award, along with the winners from Division I, Division II, NAIA and the NJCAA, will compete in the Barbasol Shootout for an exemption into the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship. The Barbasol Shootout will be held June 1 at The Ohio State University Golf Club's Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio.