Dalton State Golfer Receives Jack Nicklaus Award


SM Lee was one of only a handful of college golfers named a 2017 recipient of the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol. The award recognizes top players annually in the Division I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA.

Lee will be recognized along with the four other recipients later this summer. This is the second time in recent years a Dalton State player has received the honor. In 2015 Sean Elliott was recognized.

“We are honored to sponsor the Jack Nicklaus Award and to offer the Barbasol Shootout winner an exemption into the Barbasol Championship,” said Tom Murray, CEO of Perio Inc., the parent company of Barbasol. “To earn the exemption, regardless of Division, offers a unique and life-changing opportunity to play in a PGA TOUR event.”

A native of Buford, Ga., Lee won four tournaments in his freshman campaign, including his first career event. His worst finish in 10 events was tied for sixth. The Southern States Athletics Conference Player and Freshman of the Year, Lee was also recipient of the Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award for the NAIA.

Adding to his list of accomplishments this year, Lee qualified for the prestigious Jones Cup Invitational where he placed 12th to earn an exemption into the 2018 tournament. He also won his qualifier for the United States Amateur.

He was the best ranked NAIA player in the Golfstat Cup rankings and earned PING First-Team All-America honors. He is currently ranked as the #243 amateur golfer in the world according to World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Also receiving the Nicklaus Award are Sam Burns of Louisiana State University, Chandler Blanchet of West Florida, Logan Lanier of LaGrange, and Marco Maldonado of Tyler Junior College.

In addition to receiving the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award, the five recipients will compete in the Barbasol Shootout for an exemption into the PGA TOUR's Barbasol Championship, held July 20-23, at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National in Opelika, Ala. The Barbasol Shootout will be held Saturday, June 3 and tee off at 1:30 pm at the storied Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio - the same club where Jack Nicklaus first learned the game of golf as a young boy.