Washburn golfer Andrew Beckler capped off his collegiate career earning the highest individual honor in college golf as he was named the 2021 Jack Nicklaus Division II National Player of the Year, which was announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America on Sunday morning.
The award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate golfer across Divisions I, II and III, plus the NAIA and NJCAA, is one of college golf’s most esteemed honors. Washburn has never had a finalist for the prestigious Jack Nicklaus Award, nor has there ever been a golfer from the MIAA or NCAA Division II Central Region to win it. The award was first given out to only Division I golfers from 1988-2002 until Divisions II and III were added in 2003. Many notable golfers have won the award, including Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Justin Thomas.
“If you look at the records of these recipients, each one put together dominating seasons and are very deserving of this honor,” Jack Nicklaus said.
Dominate is exactly what Beckler did. The 2021 MIAA Player of the Year turned in a record season for the Ichabods this spring as he claimed five individual titles in 10 competitions and placed in the top-three at the other five events. He lost to just seven total golfers the entire season. At the NCAA Golf National Championships, he recorded the highest individual finish in program history as he tied for second place out of 84 total golfers.
Beckler, a Topeka-native, finished his career with Washburn’s best scoring average with a 72.00 in 67 rounds played and the second-best win-loss percentage at .856. He also set two season records this year and holds the best season scoring average (70.4) and win-loss percentage (.990).
Beckler joined the team in 2018 and was named to the all-MIAA team twice and received the conference Men’s Golf Athlete of the Week award three times this season. Off the course, Beckler also excelled in the classroom as he earned a place on the MIAA Academic Roll three times and was an MIAA Scholar Athlete twice.
2021 Jack Nicklaus Award Winners
Division I – John Pak (Florida State)
Division II – Andrew Beckler (Washburn)
Division III – James Mishoe (Guilford)
NAIA – Ruan Pretorius (Point)
NJCAA – Ben Partridge (Hutchinson Community College)