To be eligible for Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar status an individual must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least three full years at the collegiate level, participate in 50-percent of his team's competitive rounds, have a stroke-average under 79.0 in Division III, and maintain a minimum cumulative career grade-point average of 3.2. A recipient must also be of high moral character and be in good standing at his college or university.
Ritchie, who was also recently named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll with a 3.5 GPA or higher, is Kalamazoo College's first Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar.
Ritchie led Kalamazoo this past season with a school-record 74.1 season average and finished his career with a 75.8 average. He was an All-MIAA Second Team selection and a member of the Ping All-Great Lakes Region Team. He shot a career-best 70 in the final round of the season during the MIAA Spring Qualifier at Wuskowhan Players Club (Olive, Mich.), and had a hole-in-one at the Steven Tyler Intercollegiate at The Moors (Portage, Mich.) in April. In addition to this year's accolades, Ritchie earned All-MIAA Second Team honors as a sophomore and was once named MIAA Golfer of the Week.
"I am incredibly honored to have received this award," Ritchie said. "It feels great to receive this recognition for all of the hard work and dedication I put towards my game and academics. However, I could not have done it without the tremendous support from my family, teammates, and Coach Wilson. I could not think of a better way to cap off my senior season than to see both the team and I receive these awards for our success both on the course and in the classroom."
A native of Novi, Mich., Ritchie came to Kalamazoo College from Detroit Catholic Central where he played soccer and golf. He came to Kalamazoo with the intention of playing soccer (which he did as a freshman during the fall), but joined the golf team during the spring of his freshman year. He was accepted into a very competitive program at the London School of Economics where he completed a full-year study abroad as a junior while also playing on their club golf team.
"What a well-deserved honor for Phil," said Head Coach Mitch Wilson. "He is a grinder -- both on the course and in the classroom. His teammates adopted the mantra "Be like Phil" for his work ethic and tenacity. He is always looking to improve in whatever he does. Phil is a successful leader who has a wonderful future in front of him. It was a privilege to have coached him during his time here. We will miss Phil and our other seniors and wish them nothing but the best going forward!"
The Kalamazoo College men's golf team recently was named Academic National Champion by the GCAA with a cumulative team GPA of 3.739, the highest in the nation among Division III teams. The team had a great year on the course as well finishing third in the MIAA, the program's best finish since 1993. The team also competed in the MIAA Spring Qualifying Tournament for the second consecutive year and was ranked as high as 49th in the nation. The Hornets finished the year ranked 51st nationally and sixth in the region.