Finalists Named for Division I Jack Nicklaus Award presented by Barbasol
SARASOTA, Fla. – Five finalists have been named for the 2015 Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol. Georgia’s Lee McCoy, Maverick McNealy of Stanford, Washington’s Cheng-Tsung Pan, Arizona State’s Jon Rahm and Vanderbilt’s Hunter Stewart are finalists for the honor that will be presented by Jack Nicklaus at a ceremony during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Awards in 1988.
McCoy won three consecutive tournaments earlier this year, becoming the first Georgia player to accomplish that feat. He has four wins overall this season, tying the school record set by Chris Kirk and Russell Henley. McCoy has eight top 10 finishes and placed no worse than 17th in 11 events. McCoy was named to the United States Palmer Cup Team that will compete June 12-14 in Illinois and he was one of the 10 semifinalists for the Ben Hogan Award. His stroke average is 69.66.
The Pac-12 Player of the Year, McNealy is the nation’s top-ranked college player in both the Golfstat Rankings and the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. He leads NCAA Division I with six collegiate victories this year, including Pac-12’s and NCAA Regionals. His 18-under 262 at the Pac-12 Championship established a league tournament scoring record. A three-time Pac-12 Golfer of the Month, he has been selected to compete this summer on the United States Palmer Cup team. He currently boasts a 68.70 stroke average.
Pan was a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award and became the award’s first-ever four-time semifinalist. His four college wins in 2014-15 gave him eight career titles, breaking the school’s career win record. Pan’s victories came at the Waikoloa Intercollegiate, Querencia Cabo Collegiate, Lamkin San Diego Classic and NCAA Bremerton Regional. In all, he posted eight top-10 finishes and a 69.85 stroke average in 11 events.
The Ben Hogan Award recipient, Rahm has won four college tournaments in 2014-15, capped by a two-shot victory at the NCAA San Diego Regional. He also won the Duck Invitational, ASU Thunderbird and Bill Cullum Invite. The junior has 10 consecutive top-8 finishes at college events and owns a 68.78 stroke average. His average is the second-best in recorded NCAA history. He was selected to represent Europe in this summer’s Palmer Cup.
Stewart became Vanderbilt’s first SEC Player of the Year after averaging an all-time program-best 69.36 strokes per round this season. He won three individual titles, carded six top-five finishes, and 10 top 10’s in 2014-15, with his worst result being a tie for 11th. Stewart was also named to the Palmer Cup U.S. team and as a semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award earlier this spring.
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ASU's Rahm honored as 2015 Ben Hogan Award winner
Junior is first recipient in Arizona State history and inaugural European honoree
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 18, 2015) – Arizona State junior Jon Rahm was named the 2015 winner of The Ben Hogan Award Monday night in a joint announcement by Colonial Country Club, Friends of Golf (FOG) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) at the annual award’s banquet.
The first honoree in school history, Rahm is the fourth straight winner from the Pac-12 Conference, following UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay (2012), Washington’s Chris Williams (2013) and Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers (2014). He is the first recipient not born in North America and just the second foreign-born player ever, joining Canadian Nick Taylor (2010).
The Ben Hogan Award is presented annually to the top men’s NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or NJCAA college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during the 12-month period dating from the previous award’s banquet.
Rahm, a native of Barrika, Spain, is the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings as well as the Scratch Players World Rankings.
Meanwhile, he is listed second in both the Golfstat Rankings and Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. He is the only player in the world listed among the top five in each of the four ranking systems.
He has won four college tournaments in 2014-15, capped by a two-shot victory at the NCAA San Diego Regional this past weekend. He also won the Duck Invitational, ASU Thunderbird and Bill Cullum Invite. The junior has 10 consecutive top-8 finishes at college events and owns a
68.78 stroke average. His average is the second-best in recorded NCAA history, behind only fellow finalist Maverick McNealy of Stanford (68.70).
In February, Rahm tied for fifth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, becoming the first amateur to place in the top five at a PGA TOUR event since 2008. He finished the event with a 12-under-par 272.
This summer, Rahm will compete on the European Palmer Cup roster for the second straight year. He helped lead his side to victory in 2014 with a team-best 3.5-point performance. In addition, he won the 2014 Eisenhower Trophy given to the medalist of the World Team Amateur and broke Jack Nicklaus’ scoring record by six shots. Last summer, he also won the Spanish Amateur Championship and reached the U.S. Amateur’s round of 16.
Tournament chairman Bobby Patton presented Rahm with an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s 2016 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. In addition, Arizona State earned a $25,000 grant for its men’s golf scholarship program. Rodgers was on hand to award the trophy to his successor.
The other finalists, McNealy and Washington’s Cheng-Tsung Pan, each earned their respective schools $12,500 grants. All three finalists were present for the announcement, which was made at a black-tie banquet at Colonial Country Club.
In all, a record $64,000 in grants will be distributed. Additionally, for the first time, the other seven semifinalists’ schools will receive grants of $2,000 each. The remaining semifinalists were: Gavin Green (New Mexico), Beau Hossler (Texas), Kyle Jones (Baylor), Lee McCoy (Georgia), Robby Shelton (Alabama), Ollie Schniederjans (Georgia Tech) and Hunter Stewart (Vanderbilt).
The Ben Hogan Award selection committee is made up of 25 leaders and experts in amateur, college and professional golf. In order to determine the winner, each committee member cast a ballot that ranked the finalists first, second and third.
The award, which was founded by FOG in 1990 and included academic achievement in its original list of standards, revised its criteria for the 2001-02 collegiate season to its current standard of honoring the outstanding amateur collegiate golfer. FOG teamed with members of Colonial Country Club and moved the award presentation to the course known as “Hogan’s Alley.”
Since that time, the winners have included: D.J. Trahan (Clemson, 2002), Ricky Barnes (Arizona, 2003), Hunter Mahan (Oklahoma State, 2003), Bill Haas (Wake Forest, 2004), Ryan Moore (UNLV, 2005), Matt Every (Florida, 2006), Chris Kirk (Georgia, 2007), Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State, 2008), Kyle Stanley (Clemson, 2009), Nick Taylor (Washington, 2010), Peter Uihlein (Oklahoma State, 2011), Patrick Cantlay (UCLA, 2012), Chris Williams (Washington, 2013) and Patrick Rodgers (Stanford, 2014).
For information on The Ben Hogan Award, visit www.TheBenHoganAward.org and follow @BenHoganAward on Twitter.
Florida’s Handrigan Recipient of Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf
NORMAN, Okla. – John Handrigan of Florida has been named recipient of the 2015 Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf as selected by the GCAA. The Strickland Award is presented to the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA or NJCAA assistant coach that, among other things, has excelled in working with their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom.
Handrigan is in his fourth season as the assistant men’s golf coach at the University of Florida. The 2014-15 school year marked his first working alongside head coach JC Deacon after three campaigns assisting GCAA Hall of Fame coach Buddy Alexander. Handrigan, who came to the Gators with 10 years of coaching experience at the Division I and II levels, has helped lead the Orange and Blue to four tournament victories during his tenure.
So far this year, Handrigan aided the Florida squad to earn runner-up honors four times and finish in the top-five six times. He coached A.J. Crouch to capture an individual title at the FGCU Classic in October, UF’s first victory in an individual contest since 2012. The Gators also improved five places at the SEC Championships.
Prior to arriving in Gainesville, Handrigan served as the assistant men’s golf coach at Kansas for two seasons. He has also served as the head men’s and women’s golf coach at Queens University of Charlotte and the head men’s golf coach at Coker College. Handrigan began his coaching career as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa.
“First, it’s an honor to be selected and recognized with the other impressive nominees for the 2015 Jan Strickland Award as there are a lot of great coaches across the country,” said Handrigan. “To become a finalist, and then win this award after several interviews is truly special. Thank you to the GCAA, Jan Strickland Committee and TaylorMade-adidas Golf for their sponsorship and hard work during the selection process. Winning this award wouldn’t be possible without the support from The University of Florida, former Head Coach Buddy Alexander and our new Head Coach JC Deacon. I want to thank each of our players for their commitment and dedication to Florida Golf as we all achieved this prestigious award as a team. Most importantly I would like to thank my wife Leigh, who has been my biggest supporter throughout my coaching career and I would not have reached this level without her.”
The Strickland Award recipient will have the opportunity to further his professional development by receiving an invitation to the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Kingdom in Carlsbad, Calif.
TaylorMade-adidas Golf has sponsored the Strickland Award since its inception in 2003.