Essential Golf: A passion for the Game

Golf’s Up-and-Coming Rising Stars

Golf's Up-and-Coming Rising Stars
(GCAA)

Our field of young talent focuses on collegiate golf competitions and the year’s most compelling young talent showcases—the annual team competition that is the Arnold Palmer Cup, in which a Team USA and Team International go head-to-head in an amateur players’ version of the Ryder Cup.

Collegiate winning players (men)

NCAA Division I

Biondi Wins 2023 NCAA Division I Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award in Final Round Thriller

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Fred Biondi, a senior at the University of Florida, claimed the 2023 Division I Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award this evening (Monday, May 29) for earning medalist honors following the NCAA Division I National Championship.

Entering the final round five shots back, Biondi carded six birdies on Monday en route to a three-under round of 67 and the one-stroke victory. The senior from São Paulo, Brazil was able to two-putt the 18th hole and finished the tournament with a seven-under 273 (69-68-69-67).

With the win, Biondi became the first player from South America and the first international player since Thomas Pieters in 2012 to win the individual national championship. He was also the first Florida golfer to win since Nick Gilliam in 2001. 

The win was Biondi’s third of the season.

NCAA Division II

Riley Wins 2023 NCAA Division II Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award 

WARREN, Ohio – Andrew Riley, a sophomore at Palm Beach Atlantic University, claimed the 2023 Division II Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award this evening (Wednesday, May 24) for earning medalist honors following the NCAA Division II National Championship.

Riley carded three birdies and an eagle on Wednesday en route to his second five-under, bogey-free round of 67 in three days and the two-stroke victory. The sophomore from St. John’s, Fla., finished the tournament with a 12-under 204 (67-70-67).

The win was Riley’s second of the season and second consecutive following the 2023 NCAA South/Southeast Regional.

NCAA Division III

Hebrink Wins 2023 NCAA Division III Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award in Final-Round Spectacle

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. – Josh Hebrink, a junior at Piedmont University, claimed the 2023 Division III Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award this afternoon (Friday, May 19) for earning medalist honors following the NCAA Division III National Championship.

Entering the final round four shots back, Hebrink turned it on in the most pivotal moments on Friday, carding a season-low six-under 66 that included five birdies, a 130-yard eagle from the center of the fairway on the 17th hole, and a 15-foot par putt on 18 that clinched the championship. The three-time PING All-Region and 2023 PING First-Team All-American finished the tournament with a seven-under 281 (69-74-72-66).

The win was Hebrink’s third of the season.

NAIA

Johnson Wins 2023 NAIA Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award in Playoff

MESA, Ariz. — Easton Johnson, a freshman at The Master’s University, claimed the 2023 NAIA Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award this afternoon for earning medalist honors following the NAIA National Championship.

Johnson carded six birdies in regulation and two in as many playoff holes Friday to defeat Bellevue’s Hugo Ronnberg for the title. The 2023 NAIA Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award presented by Strackaline recipient and PING First-Team All-American turned in a four-under 68 on the day for an eight-under 280 tournament finish (71-70-71-68).    

The win was Johnson’s first as a collegiate golfer.

NJCAA Division I

Ramirez Wins 2023 NJCAA Division I Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award

NEWTON, Kan. – José Miguel Ramirez, a freshman at Indian Hills Community College, claimed the 2023 NJCAA Division I Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award for earning medalist honors (Friday, May 19) following the NJCAA Division I National Championship. 

The freshman from Maturin, Venezuela birdied at least four holes in all four rounds, including four on Friday, en route to a 12-under 276 (69-70-68-69), two-stroke victory. Ramirez helped lead Indian Hills to an 11-shot team victory and their seventh national championship in program history. 

The win is Ramirez’s first as a collegiate golfer.

NJCAA Division II

Beach Wins 2023 NJCAA Division II Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award

PLYMOUTH, Ind. – Warner Beach, a sophomore at Glendale Community College, claimed the 2023 NJCAA Division II Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion Award this evening (Friday, May 26) for earning medalist honors following the NJCAA Division II National Championship.

Beach carded six birdies, including in three of his final six holes, en route to a final-round 69 (-3) and the one-stroke victory. The sophomore from Tempe, Ariz., finished the tournament with a six-under 282 (67-70-76-69).

The win was Beach’s second of the season and first since the Chandler-Gilbert Invitational in January.