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Knauth Named 2022 Finalist for Byron Nelson Award

Knauth Named 2022 Finalist for Byron Nelson Award

(NORMAN, Okla.) – Senior William Knauth (Williamsport, Pa. / Williamsport Area) of the Carnegie Mellon University men's golf team has been named a finalist for the 2022 Byron Nelson Award presented by Srixon/Cleveland Golf.

The Byron Nelson Award is given annually to the outstanding Division I, II, III, or NAIA scholar-athlete of the year. The recipient must be a graduating senior and is recognized for his achievement in the classroom, on the course and in his community.

Knauth is joined by Spencer Cross of Tennessee, Mason Domecq of Ottawa University - Arizona, Cole Hammer of Texas and Trent Phillips of Georgia on the list of five finalists and is the lone Division III honoree.

Knauth, who will graduate in May with a dual degree in physics and mathematical sciences, carries a 3.90 GPA. He has campaigned to become an Iron Phi for the LiveLikeLou foundation to support ALS awareness, education and treatment. Knauth also volunteers time with The Education Partnership in Pittsburgh, which helps teachers in local schools with supplies and support with STEM education and activities, the Homeless Children's Education Fund supporting homeless children in Pittsburgh, the First Church in Williamsport, preparing meals for elderly residents, and FreshCheckDay at Carnegie Mellon, an event to raise mental health awareness and support on campus and in the community.

The senior has been conducting new research in machine learning and artificial intelligence, specifically in interpretability, robustness and model simplification without sacrificing performance and has written two academic journal articles on the topic with a patent application submitted. He has an award-nominated project in computer science "StrategyGolf," which uses advanced mutually recursive algorithms to predict expected strokes to hole out from any point on a golf course.

The 2021 PING All-American leads Division III in scoring average this season through 22 rounds with a 71.0. He has recorded 15 rounds this season of even par or under. Knauth as claimed two individual medalist honors at the Division III Showcase and Wabash Invitational. He owns two school records with the lowest 18-hole round of six-under par 65 in back-to-back rounds at the 2021 Golfweek DIII Fall Invitational and recently tied the lowest 36-hole tournament score at the Division III Showcase with a 137. At the University Athletic Association Championship match play, Knauth was named the tournament Most Valuable Golfer. In 70 career rounds he holds a 73.7 average. He is also a two-time Division III Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar.

The winner will be announced on May 11 at the AT&T Byron Nelson Luncheon.