Nathan Anderson

Senior business major Nathan Anderson (left) accepts the Jack Nicklaus Award, which is given to recognize outstanding season-long accomplishments, from former professional golfer Jack Nicklaus.

An athlete’s dream is to accomplish the highest achievements he can in his field, but most don’t accomplish that dream the first year.

Nathan Anderson, the Jack Nicklaus Award winner for 2012, did just that.

Anderson, senior general business major and Wesleyan golfer, said he was shocked when he received the Jack Nicklaus Award and that it was unexpected.

Anderson said his motivation comes from his dream, which is to be a professional golfer.

“I’ve wanted to play on tour my whole life. It’s my ultimate goal, my dream,” Anderson said. “I’m a big Tiger Woods fan. Watching him do crazy things makes me want to get out there and work harder.”

Bobby Cornett, head men’s golf coach, said Anderson transferred to Wesleyan from the National Championship team at McClennan  Community College.

“He has a very successful background in competitive golf,” Cornett said. “He was our best player last year, finishing second individually in the National Championship.”

Cornett said the combination of his scores and his win at the National Championship made Anderson the winner of the award.

“Nathan is very experienced and a very sophisticated player. He is a smart decision maker,” Cornett said. “He wakes up with a full toolbox, and when you wake up with a full tool box you’re just as good as any other Professional Golf Association player.”

Kevin Millikan, women’s golf coach, said a number of aspects made Anderson the No. 1 choice for the Jack Nicklaus Award.

“He had a fantastic finish at the National Championship; he finished second individually, which is the most important tournament of the year,” Millikan said. “Overall ,he just had a great season.”

Millikan said the award recognizes outstanding season-long accomplishments  and the National Championship weighs heavily on the ruling of a recipient.

“Placing second is a big deal,” Millikan said.

Millikan said Anderson, who will graduate at the end of this year, is irreplaceable.

“You try to find guys that can step up and take on a new role,” Millikan said.  “Nathan is a unique player and you can’t replace him.”

-Rolandra West