Men's Golfer McDowell Earns UAB's First PING All-American Honor

UABSPORTS.COM Graeme McDowell caps a successful year with a Second-Team All-American nod.
UABSPORTS.COM
Graeme McDowell caps a successful year with a Second-Team All-American nod.
UABSPORTS.COM

June 4, 2001

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - UAB sophomore men's golfer Graeme McDowell earned selection to the PING All-American Second-Team, announced June 2 by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) from its headquarters in Norman, Okla. McDowell was one of 31 players to be selected to the All-American squad.

A native of Portrush, Northern Ireland, McDowell concluded an excellent season by finishing tied for 16th at the NCAA Championship May 30-June 2 at Duke University. He shot rounds of 75-68-74-70=287 to finish 11 strokes back of medalist Nick Gilliam of Florida. This year, McDowell captured two tournament wins including the Conrad Rehling Alabama Spring Invite (72-68-72=212) and the Atlanta Intercollegiate (64-69-71=204) for the second consecutive time. McDowell had eight top-ten finishes this season and completed the year with a 71.3 stroke average.

McDowell is the first UAB golfer ever tabbed to the PING All-American Team. Former UAB golfer Paul Dickinson earned Ping All-American Honorable Mention during the 1996-97 season.

"Graeme certainly deserves the honor of being named Second-Team All-American," said head coach Alan Kaufman . "This honor and his ranking this year are the highest that any UAB golfer has obtained. He has worked hard to achieve this award and I am very happy for him. I look forward to seeing him move up the ladder next year to First-Team All-American."

The PING First-Team All-America selections iclude Nick Cassini, Georgia, Luke Donald, Northwestern, John Engler, Clemson, Nick Gilliam, Florida, Lucas Glover, Clemson, Anders Hultman, Oklahoma State, Matt Jones, Arizona State, Jon Mills, Kent State, Bryce Molder, Georgia Tech, Camilo Villegas, Florida and Chris Wisler, East Tennessee State.

McDowell is joined on the second-team by Ricky Barnes, Arizona, Erik Compton, Georgia, Jamie Elson, Augusta State, David Inglis, Tulsa, Hunter Mahan, Southern California, Bryant Odom, Georgia, Jeff Quinney, Arizona State, Kyle Thompson, South Carolina and Nick Watney, Fresno State.

Players earning Third-Team All-American honors include Bubba Dickerson, Florida, Ryan Hybl, Georgia, Craig Lile, Arkansas, Troy Matteson, Georgia Tech, David Miller, Georgia, Chris Nallen, Arizona, Wilhelm Schauman, Minnesota, David Sanchez, North Carolina State, Jimmy Walker, Baylor and Oliver Wilson, Augusta State.

The GCAA All-America Committee selected the individuals based upon play throughout the 2000-01 season, including the NCAA Championship. To be named to the PING All-America teams, a player must be named to one of the PING All-District teams or finish in the top 15 at the NCAA Championships.

The GCAA All-America Committee also selected Villegas of the University of Florida as winner of the 2000-01 Softspikes Freshman of the Year. Villegas entered the NCAA Championships with a stroke average of 71.00, and was also named SEC Freshman of the Year. The Medellin, Colombia native finished tied for 22nd at the NCAA Championships by shooting an even par 288.

Molder of Georgia Tech was named recipient of the Nicklaus Award. The Nicklaus Award is given annually to the player who excels throughout the course of the entire 2000-01 season. Molder claimed three victories this season, and finished out of the top four only twice. Molder was selected PING First-Team All-America four times, and will compete in his third Palmer Cup later this month.

The Palmer Award is presented annually to the medalist at the NCAA Championships in Divisions I, II and III. The University of Florida's Gilliam is the 2000-01 Division I Palmer Award winner. Gilliam won the individual championship at Duke University Golf Club in Durham, N.C. by shooting a 12-uncer par 276.