Air Force Golfer a Finalist for Byron Nelson Award
May 29, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) announced the finalists for the inaugural Byron Nelson Award presented by Cleveland Golf. Air Force Academy golfer Ben Leestma (Houston, Texas) is one of five finalists for the award.
Leestma is a two-time academic all-conference honoree and was named to the all-league team this year after posting a 72.8 stroke average over 36 rounds of play. He was selected to play as an individual at the 2002 NCAA West Regional in Albuquerque, N.M., where he finished tied for 82nd.
The award will be presented to a senior men's college golfer who displays excellence on the golf course, in the classroom and in the community. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be named to the Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar Team by the GCAA, be a senior at a four-year degree-granting institution and graduate in the semester he receives the award.
The other four finalists for the award are Jason Allred, Pepperdine University; Wil Collins, University of New Mexico; Bret Guetz, Texas Christian University and Steve Ratay, University of Notre Dame.
A nominee's proficiency in collegiate golf competitions, his success in the classroom and his character are all weighed equally by the selection committee.
The committee is comprised of the GCAA All-America Scholar Committee chair, a golf statistical analyst, a media representative, as well as representatives of Cleveland Golf, Four Seasons Resort and Club the Salesmanship Club of Dallas and Mr. Byron Nelson.
The winner of the 2002 Byron Nelson Award presented by Cleveland Golf will be announced during the first week in June, and presented at a date and location yet to be determined.