Senior golfer develops leadership skills, plans for career in the pros
Senior Nicklaus Benton is making the best of his last year of college golf at UALR. The Cabot native returns to the Trojans golf team as a three-year lettermen.
Being the only senior on the golf team, Benton looks to bring leadership to the team this season.
“It’s pretty nice because everybody looks to you to be the leader of the team,” Benton said. “I grew up being the youngest on the team for four years. It’s nice to kind of take that role because I know I looked to the seniors on the team when I was a freshmen.”
Benton said his leadership role this season is preparing him for the real world.
“It’s going good. It’s learning a lot of things and it’s getting me ready for the real world.”
Last season, he competed in 10 events in which he was ranked second on the team and 20th in the Sun Belt Conference after averaging 73.97 in scoring. Benton finished with eight top-25 finishes on the year and captured his first title in the Cardinal Collegiate event. In his final year at Cabot High School, he was named ASGA Player of the Year after recording wins in the 2009 River Valley Men’s Stroke Play Championship and the 2009 Summit Bank Classic. Benton graduated with a 3.99 grade point average and was a member of the Honors Society and Spanish Honors.
Benton’s choice to enroll at UALR was based on his focus on golf and a good school.
“It was mainly for the golf because we get to practice in some pretty sweet places. We get to go to some good tournaments and I just liked our athletic department,” he said.
In his freshmen year, he opened his collegiate career as a Trojan with a one-over par to earn a share of 14th place at the Purple and Red Invitational and played in 10 events on the year. He averaged 75.37 strokes per round while recording four top-25 finished. Benton is currently ranked seventh in the Sun Belt Conference with an average of 73.08 strokes per round and helped UALR move up four spots to finish tenth of 17 teams in the final day of the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate. He led the Trojans with a final round 74 to give him a three-day total of seven-over par 223.
After graduating from UALR, Benton plans to play professional golf.
“I plan on playing golf. My family lives in Arizona. So, I’m planning on going out there to play some pro golf.”