Professional golfers Adam Scott, who became the first Australian to win The Masters, and South Korean Inbee Park, who became the No. 1 ranked women’s player after her Kraft Nabisco Championship title, were chosen as the United States Sports Academy’s April Athletes of the Month in worldwide online voting.
Scott won The Masters with the two biggest putts of his career, holing a 20-footer for birdie on the 18th hole of regulation that put him into a playoff with Angel Cabrera. He then won his first major championship in Augusta, Ga., with a 12-footer for birdie on the second extra hole. Scott had a final round 3-under 69, and 9-under 279 total for the major. Scott’s victory moved him to No. 3 in the world golf ranking.
Meanwhile, Park took over the top spot in the women’s golf rankings, after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship for her second major title and second victory of the year. Park, a 24-year-old South Korean, also won the LPGA Thailand in February. Park won a four-stroke victory in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club, shooting a final-round 69 for a four-day total of 15-under-par 273.
The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nomination and ballot voting processes. Visit the Academy website at www.ussa.edu to submit your nominations each month, and then return to the website during the first two weeks of each month to vote for the male and female Athletes of the Month. The votes along with an Academy committee choose the winners who become candidates for the Athlete of the Year. The monthly and yearly winners are announced on the Academy’s website and in the sports university’s online edition of The Sport Update.
Finishing second in the men’s category was American basketball player Carmelo Anthony, who has led the New York Knicks to its best season in 16 years and the playoffs, while winning the first scoring title of his 10-year NBA career. He scored an average of 28.7 points per game, edging Kevin Durant, the reigning three-time champion.
The runner-up to Park on the women’s ballot was American Queen Harrison, who upstaged all the other hyped 100-meter hurdlers at the Drake Relays. Harrison unexpectedly beat Des Moines, Iowa, hometown star Lolo Jones and 2012 London Olympic Games medalists Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells. Harrison ran a world-leading time of 12.71 seconds in the marquee event. Harper and Wells finished second and third and Jones ended up fourth.
Third place winners for April were Novak Djokovic, the No. 1-ranked Serbian tennis player who claimed his first Rolex Masters title in Monte Carlo; and Maria Sharapova, the No. 2-ranked Russian who beat China’s Li Na 6-4, 6-3 to successfully defend her WTA Porsche Grand Prix title.
Scott and Park are now eligible for the Academy’s male and female 2013 Athlete of the Year Award. For the 29th consecutive year, the Academy will oversee the worldwide online voting that will take place in December. This prestigious award is currently done in conjunction with NBC Sports.
In 2012, the male Athlete of the Year was Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who became the first man ever to win both the 100- and 200-meter races in successive Olympics. The female Athlete of the Year was American tennis player Serena Williams, who became the singles champion at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Olympics. Both Olympians dominated 2012’s online ballot in December, which drew tens of thousands of votes a day from across the world.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.