Virginia Elena Carta from Duke University, University of South Carolina’s Katelyn Dambaugh, Cheyenne Knight from the University of Alabama and UCLA’s Bronte Law are the four nominees for the Honda Sport Award for golf as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 40 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2016 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on June 27, 2016, in the Founders’ Room at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los, Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a combination of NCAA Championship finish and national golf rankings. The Honda Sport award winner for golf will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Carta, a freshman from Udine, Italy, won the 2016 NCAA Individual Championship with a NCAA-record eight stroke lead and her 16-under-par and 72-hole total of 272 were both NCAA records as well. She posted a 72.41 stroke average this season en route to earning All-ACC and NCAA All-Region honors. The Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) first-team All-American closed the season with five straight top-10 finishes and totaled a 69.57 stroke average in NCAA Regional and Championship play becoming the first golfer in Duke history to register four straight rounds in the 60’s in NCAA postseason.
Dambaugh is a junior from Goose Creek, S.C., and was named a WGCA first-team All-American and a first-team All-SEC honoree. She currently holds the South Carolina career scoring average record with a 72.96 and turned in the best single-season stroke average (71.62) in program history this seasons. She holds five of the program’s low 18-hole scores and set a program record by a junior with six top-five finishes on the season. She ended her junior campaign ranked second in Division I in stroke average and fourth in par-5 scoring.
A freshman from Aledo, Texas, Knight was named the WGCA Freshman of the Year and earned WGCA first-team All-America honors. Her top freshman honor was the first in Alabama women’s golf history. She finished tied for fourth at the 2016 NCAA Championship and posted a team-low 72.28 stroke average on the year. As Alabama’s top finisher at the NCAA’s, she finished the championship with a school record 72-hole score of 282 (6-under). She led the Crimson Tide at the SEC Championship placing third to help Alabama capture the school’s third conference title in the last seven seasons.
Law was named the 2016 Ping WGCA Player of the Year. The junior is a two-time WGCA first-team All-American and two-time Honda Award nominee for golf. She led the Bruins with a 70.60 scoring average which was tops in Golfweek and Golfstats rankings. She captured three tournament wins this season for six career wins so far which ties a UCLA program record. Hailing from Stockport, England, she is a the two-time English Women’s Amateur Champion and the first player to win back-to-back in 20 years.
Emma Talley from the University of Alabama was named the Class of 2015 Honda Award winner for golf last season.
The CWSA, celebrating its 40th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.0 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.