CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia first-year men’s golfer Ben James (Milford, Conn.) picked up first-team All-America honors from Golfweek after previously earning the same distinction from the Golf Coaches Association of America. James and Tennessee’s Caleb Surratt were the only freshmen to receive the honor.
James is ranked No. 3 in Golfweek’s final individual standings for the 2022-23 season, the highest among freshman players.
James was named the Phil Mickelson Most Outstanding Freshman Golfer this season by the GCAA. He was a finalist for both the Haskins Award and Division I Jack Nicklaus Award which are presented to the nation’s top collegiate golfer.
James had a historic season in his first year on Grounds. In 13 tournaments he posted a school-record stroke average of 69.0 for 40 rounds of play. He posted 11 top-six finishes, had 24 rounds in the 60s and 33 rounds of par or better. His sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships tied as the second best by a Cavalier. He helped UVA reach match play at the NCAA Championships for the first time and post the best finish in stroke play (seventh) in program history.
James picked up a school record five first-place finishes this season. He was co-medalist at the NCAA Las Vegas Regional, matching his school record 54-hole scoring mark by shooting 20-under 196.
At UVA’s season-opening tournament at the Streamsong Invitational, he also shot 20-under, 196 to capture medalist honors. At that event, UVA posted a team score of 56-under 808, the lowest tournament score in program history. Coming off that opening win, UVA was ranked No. 1 nationally by Golfweek, the program’s first-ever top ranking.
James was also first at the Hamptons Intercollegiate, the General Hackler Championships and UVA’s own Lewis Chitengwa Memorial. He was an All-ACC selection and placed third at the league championship.
He recently helped Team USA win the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style tournament featuring the top men’s and women’s university/college golfers matching the United States against a team of International players.