Four Highlander golfers named All-American Scholars

Photo courtesy of RU Athletics – Radford University golfers (L-R) Jayde Dudley, Riko Nagai, Sidney Walker and Natalie Welsh have been named All-American scholars by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association.

A quartet of Radford University women’s golfers picked up academic honors Monday. Jayde Dudley, Riko Nagai, Sidney Walker and Natalie Welsh were named All-American Scholars by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

The WGCA awarded honors to 1,401 women’s collegiate golfers across all three divisions of the NCAA and both NAIA divisions. The criteria for selection are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics with a minimum 3.50 GPA required for consideration.

Dudley put together one of the most impressive freshman seasons in program history. The Roanoke native earned Big South Freshman of the Week honors a conference-best and program record five times during the 2019-20 campaign. She led the Highlanders with a stroke average of 75.33, which ranked 13th overall in the Big South and second among all conference freshmen.

Nagai played in all 20 stroke-play rounds for the Highlanders and improved her stroke average from her freshman season by 0.13. The Yokohama, Japan, native carded her best two rounds of the season in Radford’s final two tournaments that included tying a career-best 75 in the final round of the Benbow Invitational.

Walker had a career-best year on the course for the Highlanders, posting a stroke average of 76.85, which ranked second on the team and 18th in the Big South and represented an improvement of more than 1.5 strokes from her 2018-19 season. The Springfield, Va., native earned Big South Golfer of the Week honors for the first time in her career during the season and also claimed a spot on the Big South All-Academic Team.

Welsh carded Radford’;s low round of the season with a 2-under 70 in the opening round of the

Starmount Fall Classic. The Valencia, Penn., native finished the season with a stroke average of

78.15, an improvement of nearly two strokes from her freshman season and finished the season with two rounds under par and 13 rounds shot in the 70s.

For Walker and Welsh, this marks the second consecutive season they have been named WGCA All-American Scholars. Dudley and Nagai earned the prestigious honor for the first time.

Overall, Radford has had three or more student-athletes earn WGCA All-American Scholar honors in five consecutive seasons.  

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