SwingU, the golf technology and media company, announced today the seven divisional winners of the SwingU College Player of the Month Award for April 2023 in partnership with the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Caleb Surratt of Tennessee (Division I), Patrick Mwendapole of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (HBCU), Charles DeLong of Grand Valley State (Division II), J.F. Aber of Wittenberg (Division III), Jakob Stavang Stubhaug of Keiser (NAIA), Gaspar Glaudas of Indian Hills (NJCAA Division I), and Kolby Shackelford of Kirkwood (NJCAA Division II) are the April 2023 SwingU College Player of the Month recipients as announced in partnership by SwingU and the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Surratt became the first freshman to win the SEC Individual Championship since Alabama’s Justin Thomas (2012) after recording a 14-under 196 that included a six-under 64 in both the first and final rounds (64-68-64). The freshman from Indian Trail, N.C., claimed victory by six shots and finished with the second-lowest 54-hole score in SEC Men’s Golf Championship history (lowest by a freshman). Surratt, who was selected as a member of Team USA for the upcoming 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup on April 25, also recorded finishes of T6 (-10, 66-71-69) at the Mossy Oak Collegiate and T5 (-7, 68-68-70) at the Mason Rudolph Championship in April. Tennessee will be the No. 2 seed in the 2023 Auburn Regional May 15-17, their highest seed in program history, for a chance to advance to the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships.
Mwendapole led Arkansas-Pine Bluff to their first-ever SWAC Men’s Golf Championship by earning the individual title with a seven-under 209 (68-69-72). The sophomore from Lusaka, Zambia went 7-under par on par-4s at Refuge Golf Course in Florence, Ms., en route to the Golden Lions winning by 29 strokes, the largest margin of victory in SWAC Men’s Golf Championship history. Mwendapole also finished T5 (-4, 72-66-71) at the TSU Big Blue Intercollegiate on April 11. Arkansas-Pine Bluff will be the 14-seed at the 2023 Norman Regional, where they will compete May 15-17 for a spot in the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships.
DeLong began his April with an eight-under 166 (69-67), one-shot victory at the Argonaut Invitational. The sophomore from DeWitt, Mi., then recorded a five-stroke victory (-11, 67-70-68) at the Ken Partridge Invitational on April 11, his third win of the spring, sixth of 2022-23, and 12th of his career. His six season and 12 career victories are a program record. DeLong’s month concluded with a second-place finish (-9, 68-65) at the GLIAC Stroke Play Championship and a victory in his GLIAC Medal match en route to earning his second consecutive GLIAC Player of the Year honor. Grand Valley State, who has made a regional every year since 2001, is the top seed in this week’s 2023 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional.
With four top-three finishes in April, Aber set the 54-hole school record with an eight-under 202 (69-67-66) at the DIII Showcase, topping the previous record by seven shots and earning NCAC Athlete of the Week honors. His final-round 66 on April 11 is only the seventh round of 66 in Wittenberg’s history. The junior from Pittsburgh, Pa., carded a second-place finish at The Hershey Cup to begin the month and two third-place finishes at the Western Pennsylvania Intercollegiate (T3) and NCAC Conference Championship to end the month. Aber’s performances lead Wittenberg into the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships May 16-19 at Keene Trace Golf Club.
Stubhaug began the month with a five-under 211 (71-70-70) to win the Roadrunner Classic on April 4 by five strokes. The sophomore from Florø, Norway, who is the NAIA’s defending national player of the year and individual champion, earned NAIA National Men’s Golfer of the Week for his performance. Stubhaug concluded the month finishing T2 at the Sun Conference Championships with a one-under 212 (68-70-74), his three-under 68 game him a two-stroke lead after the opening round. He and top-ranked Keiser will compete in the NAIA Men’s Golf Championship May 16-19 at Las Sendas Golf Club.
Glaudas claimed victory at the Bethany College Classic on April 11 with a seven-under 137 (67-70) en route to earning ICCAC Athlete of the Week honors. The freshman from Sainte-Tulle, France carded top-four finishes in his remaining two tournaments, shooting 69-72 (+1, 141) to finish T4 at the Prairie Dunes Collegiate and 70-74-75 (+3, 219) for another T4 finish at the NJCAA Central District Championship, where he earned his second ICCAC Athlete of the Week honor of April. Glaudas leads Indian Hills into the NJCAA DI Men’s Golf National Championship at Sand Creek Station Golf Course May 16-19.
Shackelford recorded top-20 finishes in all four April tournaments for the Eagles, including two runner-up finishes at the Park University Spring Classic and the UIU Spring Invite to begin the month. The sophomore from Panora, Ia., has earned two ICCAC Athlete of the Week awards this season and led Kirkwood to the North Central District title on May 2 heading into the NJCAA DII Men’s Golf Championship at Swan Lake’s The Golf Club May 23-26.
The SwingU College Player of the Month is awarded to players from seven divisions – NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, HBCU, NJCAA Division I and NJCAA Division II – based on a voting committee made up of coaches from the respective divisions.
Headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, SwingU is a sports technology and media company focused on golf game improvement. The company owns and operates the top-rated golf game-improvement app across GPS, scorecard, statistics and instruction. SwingU Clubhouse publishes an email newsletter reaching hundreds of thousands of golfers daily. Lastly, SwingU Coach offers the ultimate coaching & statistics platform for both golf teams and academies. For more company information, please visit www.swingu.com.
About Golf Coaches Association of America
Established in 1958, the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) is the professional organization of men’s collegiate golf coaches. The GCAA’s mission is to support its member coaches from seven divisions, including the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA, by creating educational opportunities, providing resources, and promoting its members with the purpose of enhancing their overall performance as coaches, mentors, and teachers. The GCAA also recognizes the excellence and achievements of its members and their student-athletes in academic, athletic and civic endeavors. For more information, please visit www.collegiategolf.com.