By Bucky Albers
Nick Scott went off to Kent State University last fall without thinking too much about the success he enjoyed in the 2011 golf season. He was busy with his freshman studies at KSU and his challenges as a member of the school’s golf team. So it came as a pleasant surprise recently when he learned that he had earned Player of the Year honors in the Miami Valley Golf Association for 2011.

“I wasn’t expecting that, but it’s pretty cool,” said Scott, an 18-year-old graduate of Northmont High School. In what was essentially a two-man race, Scott beat out Jeffrey Scohy of Bellbrook by accumulating 618 points to Scohy’s 525. Michael Bernard, who tied for third in the Ohio Amateur Championship at NCR, finished third in MVGA points with 350, Miami Valley Metropolitan champion Pete Samborsky (325) was fourth and Ben Boyer (300) was fifth.

Points are awarded for performances in several events. Scott received 200 points when he tied for fifth place in the Ohio Am, he picked up 150 by qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Championship and 100 each for making the field in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and winning the City Men’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship. He received an additional 68 points when he tied for seventh place in the Metro at Sycamore Creek Country Club. Scohy got 150 points for being runner-up in the Ohio Mid-Am and 125 for finishing 13th in the Ohio Am.

Scott is currently concentrating on his college golf. Kent State has an ambitious spring schedule that is taking the team to events at Scottsdale, Ariz., Palm Desert, Calif., Lafayette, La., Lakeside, Calif., and Charlotte, N.C., before it plays in the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate at Ohio State University in April.

The travel can make it tough to keep up with classwork, but modern communications systems have made it much less than as it used to be. “The teachers tell us what we’ll be missing,” Scott said. “We all take our laptops with us. We’re able to do everything.”

Competition on the golf team is strong, too. “I played in three of our five events in the fall,” Scott said. “I shot 70 (in the Jack Nicklaus Invitational) at Muirfield. That was probably my best round of the year. I struggled with my ball-striking. I’ll see if I can move up in the lineup this year.”

Each year one of the freshmen golfers gets a scholarship provided by PGA Tour veteran Ben Curtis, a KSU grad. Scott received that award for 2011-12. His average score for seven competitive rounds was 76.

In November, December or January, when there is no competition scheduled, the KSU golfers practice in what Scott described as “a really nice indoor facility.” He said the mild winter weather has enabled them to get outdoors for some practice.

Scott will spend the summer at home in Union, and he could be a factor in the Player of the Year competition again. He plans to play in the Ohio Amateur at Brookside Golf and Country Club in Columbus (he is exempt from qualifying) and the Miami Valley Metro. He will attempt to qualify again for the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Amateur Public Links.

He said he had so much fun playing in the City Stroke Play Championship last year that he might sign up for that one at Madden Golf Course in August.
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