La Verne golfer wins Nicklaus Award

University of La Verne junior Mitchell Fedorka has been named winner of the 2009 Jack Nicklaus Award which goes annually to the nation’s top golfer in Division III.

Fedorka, out of Upland High School, led the Leopards to a runner-up showing at the Division III national tournament last month at the PGA Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The award was presented by Nicklaus to Fedorka on Sunday prior to the final round of The Memorial, the PGA event hosted every spring by Nicklaus at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

Fedorka was the top ranked player in the Golfstat Division III individual standings with an overall scoring average of 72.35.

At the NCAA Division III Championships he tied for the overall lead with a total of 285 (67-71-74-73) but lost a sudden death playoff for medalist honors to Ogelthorpe University sophomore Olafur Loftsson.

Fedorka was a first team All-America selection in 2009. He also earned All-West Region and SCIAC Player of the Year accolades.

He captured the SCIAC 36-Hole Championship with a total of 138 (66-72) as he helped propel the Leopards to their third straight conference crown. His conference scoring average of 69.3 is a SCIAC record. Fedorka won three tournaments this season and only finished out of the top 10 on two occasions.

“This definitely takes some of the sting out of finishing second at nationals,” Leopard first-year coach Joe Skovron said. “He really deserved it. He was so consistent all season.
“It isn’t just his ability but his demeanor out there. To look at him out there you wouldn’t know whether he birdied or bogeyed that last hole.”

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