For Immediate Release
December 2, 2011

Rutgers student MacKenzie named Vickers scholar

Lawrence, Kan.: Rutgers University student Christopher Tyler MacKenzie has been selected as the Vickers Scholarship winner among 14 students earning 2011-12 scholarships from the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association (TMGA) through its Turf Scholarship Fund. MacKenzie, 24, will receive a $7,500 scholarship as he completes his education in the Rutgers’ two-year Golf Course Management Program this month. He also receives the Vickers Trophy, a bronze sculpture of Old Tom Morris.  

“With two people close to me, my father and his assistant, both having won Trans-Miss scholarships, to join them with that — especially my dad — it’s kind of a legacy deal,” said MacKenzie of Forest Lake, Minn. “I didn’t know the (TMGA) has been around as long as it has. To know that I was awarded the top Trans-Miss scholarship, it’s an honor.”

MacKenzie, whose father John is superintendent at North Oaks (Minn.) Golf Club, currently carries a 3.79 grade point average in Rutgers’ Golf Course Management Program and has completed internships at Oakmont Country Club and the TPC Twin Cities. He has volunteered on the maintenance staffs of several key golf events, including the 2009 PGA Championship, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open and two 3M Championships.

 “Tyler MacKenzie is a highly motivated and extremely intelligent individual,” says Edward V. Lipman Jr., MacKenzie’s academic advisor at Rutgers. “His roots in the golf turf industry run very deep as his father has been a superintendent for over 25 years, and based on Tyler’s performance in his first year in the Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management School, it is clear that it is his intention to walk in his father’s footsteps and become a successful golf course superintendent.”

MacKenzie earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wisconsin-Eau Claire before moving to Rutgers.

“Education is unbelievably important. Every year technology changes and information changes,” MacKenzie said. “You’ve got to keep yourself educated, whether it’s reading articles put out in magazines or anything like that…it’s like everything nowadays, you just have to stay on top of the turf field.”

Five students were selected for $4,500 Trans-Miss scholarships, including Tyler Manly, Michigan State University; Michael McNamara, Penn State University; Ryan Munro, South Dakota State University; Clinton Steketee, Michigan State University; and Curtis Yaeger, University of Rhode Island.

Manly of Howell, Mich, receives the W.D. McBee, Jr. Scholarship. He carries a 3.97 GPA, earned an undergraduate degree from Eastern Michigan and is the 2011 president of the Michigan State University Turf Club.  

McNamara of Lutz, Fla., receives the Francis Whittaker Scholarship. He has a 3.7 GPA and earned degrees from SUNY-Cobleskill, where he was a member of the varsity golf team, and Penn State.

Munro of Sioux Falls, S.D., receives the Ron Moore Scholarship. He has a 3.75 GPA in Horticulture at South Dakota State and worked with the Sioux Fall Pheasants pro baseball ground crew this past summer.

Steketee of Caledonia, Mich., receives the Jackie Lee Scholarship. He carries a 3.96 GPA in Crop and Soil Sciences at Michigan State and has interned at Quaker Ridge Golf Club and Broadmoor Country Club.

Yaeger of Laconia, N.H., receives the Tom Crow Scholarship. He has a 3.71 GPA in Turf Management at Rhode Island and has interned at Round Hill Club, Rhode Island Country Club and Laconia Country Club.

Eight students were selected for $3,000 Trans-Miss scholarships including Ronald Townsend, The Ohio State University (Jack Nicklaus Scholarship); William McNeal, Penn State University (Hale Irwin Scholarship); Colby Lisenby, Texas A&M University (Curtis Ford Scholarship); Victor Faconti, Penn State University; Daniel J. Lusty, Michigan State University; David Katz, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities; Dustin G. Bernau, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Greg Iversen, Penn State University.

The Trans-Mississippi Golf Association is one of the oldest and most prestigious golf organizations in the United States. Established in 1901, the Trans is composed of more than 200 member clubs located throughout the country. The Association is governed by a board of independent directors and is headquartered in Lawrence, Kan. Since the Trans-Miss Scholarship Fund granted a $600 scholarship in 1953 to Colorado State University (then Colorado A&M), the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association has become a national leader in assisting young men and women pursuing careers in turf management.

For more information on the Trans-Miss Scholarship Program go to www.trans-miss.com/scholarships.

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