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Rahm Repeats as Ben Hogan Award Winner
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 23, 2016) – Colonial Country Club, Friends of Golf (FOG) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) have announced that Arizona State senior Jon Rahm is the 2016 winner of The Ben Hogan Award presented by Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta). He becomes the first player ever to win the award more than once. Rahm was crowned the winner over fellow finalists Maverick McNealy of Stanford and Beau Hossler of Texas at a black-tie banquet at Colonial Country Club prior to the start of the PGA TOUR’s Dean & DeLuca Invitational. All three finalists were ranked among the top six in all four major ranking systems–World Amateur Golf Ranking, Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking, Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking and Golfstat Individual Ranking. Rahm is the world’s top-ranked amateur according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking. He also ranks third in the Golfstat Rankings. The senior has secured top-10 placements in all 12 collegiate events for the Sun Devils this year. He is tied for second nationally with four victories, which includes wins in three of his last four starts. The senior, who carries a 69.38 scoring average and won the Pac-12 Championships by four strokes, was named first-team All-Pac-12 Conference. Last week, he won the NCAA New Mexico Regional by five shots to help Arizona State to a team victory and a berth in the NCAA Championships. Last summer, Rahm won the Spanish Amateur individual title, advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Championship and tied for eighth at the European Amateur Team Championship. The native of Barrika, Spain, also competed for Team Europe at the 2015 Palmer Cup, and was named the winner of the 2015 Mark H. McCormack Medal. In November, Rahm notched his second career top-10 PGA TOUR finish by sharing 10th place at the OHL at Mayakoba Classic. He also made the cut in another event on the TOUR, tying for 64th at the 2015 Travelers Championship. The 2016 Ben Hogan Award recipient will receive an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s 2017 Dean & DeLuca Invitational, as well as earn a $30,000 grant for its men’s golf scholarship program. The other two finalists’ schools each will receive grants of $15,000. This year, a record $84,000 in scholarship grants will be distributed to 11 schools, bringing the total to more than $500,000 since 2002. 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. The selection committee is made up of two dozen 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 from 1-3. The award was first presented in 1990 through the Friends of Golf and Bel-Air Country Club and included academic achievement in its original list of standards. Its criteria was revised for the 2001-02 collegiate season to its current standard of honoring the outstanding amateur collegiate golfer and the award was moved to Colonial Country Club. Since that time, the winners include: 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), Patrick Rodgers (Stanford, 2014) and Rahm (Arizona State, 2015). With Rahm’s wins in 2015 and 2015, a player from the Pac-12 Conference has won The Ben Hogan Award five consecutive years. Arizona State joins Oklahoma State (3), Washington (2) and Clemson (2) as schools honored more than once since 2002. About Konica Minolta Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. is a leader in information management focused on enterprise content, technology optimization and cloud services. Our portfolio of offerings deliver solutions to improve our customers’ speed to market, manage technology costs, and facilitate the sharing of information to increase productivity. The All Covered IT Services division offers a range of IT strategy, support, project and cloud computing solutions across all verticals. Konica Minolta has won numerous awards and recognition, including placement in the Leaders Quadrant on the Gartner 2014 Magic Quadrant for Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed Content Services (MCS). Konica Minolta has been recognized as the#1 Brand for Customer Loyalty in the MFP Office Copier Market by Brand Keys for nine consecutive years. Konica Minolta, Inc. has also been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for four years in a row. For more information, please visit: www.countonkonicaminolta.com and follow Konica Minolta on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter @konicaminoltaus.
DiBitetto Recipient of Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf
NORMAN, Okla. – North Carolina’s Andrew DiBitetto was named recipient of the 2016 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. “I’m grateful and humbled to win this award,” said DiBitetto. “To be recognized and selected by my respected colleagues and peers means a great deal to me. Although this award is given to an individual, in this case, it is absolutely a team honor. Our program has made great strides in a short period of time, both on and off the golf course. This is due to the effort of many people affiliated with Carolina Golf, especially our student-athletes. Coach (Andrew) Sapp and I have been fortunate to be surrounded by excellent, hardworking young men. We still have many goals left to accomplish and I look forward to doing everything possible to help our guys prepare for the upcoming NCAA Regionals, as well as their future endeavors.” DiBitetto is in his fifth year at North Carolina and his second as the associate head coach. The Tar Heels have won six team titles and six different players have won medalist honors eight times in DiBitetto’s four years in Chapel Hill. Ben Griffin earned honorable mention PING All-America and All-ACC honors in 2015. Griffin and William Register each won two tournaments in their first collegiate seasons. UNC played last year with a lineup that included two sophomores and two freshmen and won three events for the first time in 16 years. This season the Tar Heels have one tournament victory and seven additional top-five finishes in nine events. “I am thrilled that Andrew has won the Jan Strickland Award,” stated North Carolina Head Men’s Golf Coach Andrew Sapp. “His contributions to our golf program have been invaluable and for the selection committee made up of our peer coaches to recognize his work is an incredible honor. Working with Andrew every day has made me a better head coach and I have definitely seen our players benefit from his teaching and seen our program grow in the past five years. His competitiveness and his dedication to our players are two traits that really stand out. UNC is fortunate to have him as a coach and mentor to our golfers.” 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.
Behr Recipient of Byron Nelson Award presented by Cleveland Golf/Srixon
NORMAN, Okla. – Stephen Behr of Clemson has been named recipient of the 2016 Byron Nelson Award presented by Cleveland Golf/Srixon, in cooperation with the Four Seasons Resort and Club Las Colinas, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas and the Golf Coaches Association of America. Candidates for the Nelson Award must be a graduating senior and the selection committee considers equally a nominee’s entire collegiate academic and golf career as well as his character and integrity while in college. Particular consideration will be given to a nominee’s good citizenship, as portrayed by Mr. Byron Nelson over the course of his life and golf career. Behr leads Clemson into the ACC Tournament this weekend with a 71.88 stroke average. He also leads the team in top 10 finishes with four and is tied for the lead in rounds in the 60s with six and under-par rounds with 10. For his career, Behr is a four-year starter with a 72.48 stroke average, seventh best in Clemson history. He has led Clemson in stroke average three of his four years, has four top 10 finishes and 50 career rounds at par or better. The ACC Tournament will be his 43rd career event for Clemson. Behr is also a standout in the classroom. He graduated in May 2015 with a 3.91 GPA and continues to represent the tigers as a graduate student. He was a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar last season. He was also named a CoSIDA At-Large Academic third-team All-American in 2015 and was named CoSIDA Academic All-District for the third consecutive year. Behr is also a thee-time All-ACC Academic selection. Also active in the community, Behr is an active participant in TigerPals, a Clemson Pen Pal project to communicate with local children in the Clemson community. A member of Clemson’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, he participated as a leader in Clemson Can, a food drive to eliminate hunger in South Carolina. Through SAAC, he also was an integral part of Tiger Field Day and organized and helped conduct Operation Christmas Child. Behr was the event chair for the Welcome Back Festival, which had over 70 local Clemson vendors. Behr was honored by the Clemson Athletic Department earlier this month when he won the Solid Orange Male Athlete of the Year. That award is presented each year at the CLEMMYs and is presented to the male who exemplifies a Clemson student-athlete through leadership, athletic performance, service, academics and sportsmanship “This award is one of the biggest and best in college golf,” said Behr. “To me it is the most prestigious because the collegiate golfer who wins it must have the entire package, excelling in all areas that make being a student-athlete a challenge; playing well in competition, staying competitive in the classroom, and carrying oneself with honesty, integrity and respect.”
2016 Arnold Palmer Cup Teams Announced
  Visit http://www.arnoldpalmercup.com/   NORMAN, Okla. – The Arnold Palmer Cup teams for both Europe and the United States were announced today on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition will be played June 24-26 at Formby Golf Club in Formby, England.   For Team Europe, Sam Horsfield of Florida (England), Vanderbilt’s Matthias Schwab (Austria), Adrian Meronk from East Tennessee State (Poland), Lars van Meijel of Memphis (Netherlands), Augusta’s Robin Petersson (Sweden) and David Boote of Stanford (Wales) were determined through the ranking. Committee selections were Maynooth’s Stuart Grehan and Antoine Rozner of UMKC. Mathias Eggenberger of Stirling (Switzerland) qualified for Team Europe by winning The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament. Robin Sciot-Siegrist of Louisville was Janice Moodie’s coach’s pick.  Eggenberger, Schwab and Meronk return from last year’s squad that fell to the United States, 18-12. Memphis’ van Meijel and UMKC’s Rozner are the first Arnold Palmer Cup participants from their universities. Including its coaching staff, Europe is represented by 10 countries - matching the event record set in 2015. Maverick McNealy of Stanford, Charlie Danielson of Illinois, LSU’s Zach Wright, Rico Hoey of Southern California, Auburn’s Michael Johnson and Nahum Mendoza III of San Diego State were the six United States players selected by the Arnold Palmer Cup Ranking. Derek Bard of Virginia, Chico State’s Alistair Docherty and Will Zalatoris of Wake Forest were committee selections. Docherty was the designated non-Division I player. Will Gordon of Vanderbilt was Mike Cook’s coach’s pick.  McNealy represented the United States in 2015 and was also selected to represent the Arnold Palmer Cup in the 2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Hoey particpated at Walton Heath in 2014 where he was chosen by Europe as America’s recipient of the Michael Carter Award. Bard is the first Virginia golfer selected for the Arnold Palmer Cup. For more information visit arnoldpalmercup.com. Europe Arnold Palmer Cup Ranking Selections     Sam Horsfield, Florida - England Matthias Schwab, Vanderbilt - Austria Adrian Meronk, East Tennessee State - Poland Lars van Meijel, Memphis - Netherlands Robin Petersson, Augusta - Sweden David Boote, Stanford - Wales Commitee Selections Stuart Grehan, Maynooth - Ireland Antoine Rozner, UMKC - France The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament        Mathias Eggenberger, Stirling - Switzerland Coach’s Pick  Robin Sciot-Siegrist, Louisville - France Coaches          Head Coach - Janice Moodie - Scotland Assistant Coach - Dean Robertson, Stirling - Scotland United States Arnold Palmer Cup Ranking Selections     Maverick McNealy, Stanford Charlie Danielson, Illinois Zach Wright, LSU Rico Hoey, Southern California Michael Johnson, Auburn Nahum Mendoza III, San Diego State Commitee Selections Derek Bard, Virginia Alistair Docherty, Chico State Will Zalatoris, Wake Forest Coach’s Pick  Will Gordon, Vanderbilt Coaches          Head Coach - Mike Cook, Coastal Georgia Assistant Coach - John Handrigan, Florida
Team USA Selected for 2016 TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup
Norman, Okla.- Golfers Austin Eckroat, Will Thomson, Matthew Wolff, and Norman Xiong, along with head coach Jeff Roope of Wittenberg University, will represent the United States at the TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup supported by JAL at Chuyko Golf Club’s Ishino Course in Toyota City, Japan. Team USA - which is supported by Nike Golf - has won the tournament five times since its inception in 1992 but has failed to claim the team title since 2005. The USA team finished fourth last year.

Roope, in his 9th season as head coach at Wittenberg, has advanced his teams to NCAA Division III Championship Tournaments in six straight years starting in 2010. He has been North Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year five times, and was also named Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year in 2014. Roope’s players have won the NCAC’s Bob Nye Award as the conference’s individual medalist six straight years, with Craig Osterbrock becoming the program’s first All-American in nearly 20 years with back-to-back awards in 2010 and 2011, followed by David Wetterich in 2012, and Alex Andrews in 2013. In 2014, Andrews, John Chaney and Ben Hoenkamp made the list, and in 2015, Andrews and Chaney were honored nationally. Roope has previously worked as Assistant Tournament Director with the Florida State Golf Association and as Assistant Caddiemaster at Muirfield Village Golf Club. A member of the GCAA All-America Committee, he is also former chair of the Great Lakes Regional Advisory Committee to the NCAA Division III men’s golf selection committee.
“I am extremely honored to have been selected to coach the Junior World Cup team for the United States,” said Roope. “The chance to represent my country in such a competition is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I could not be more excited. The opportunity to coach and collaborate with some of the best young talent in the United States is equally unique and a chance I’m looking forward to as much as the competition. What an amazing year to be part of international competition! With the Olympics and Ryder Cup being played in 2016, the interest in golf around the world might never be higher. I'm so excited to just play a small part in growing the game around the globe.”

Eckroat was the first and only freshman in Oklahoma history to be the Class 6A Individual State Champion. He was named to the 2015 AJGA Rolex All-America Second Team. He was the 2015 Scott Robertson Memorial Champion and broke the competitive course and tournament records with an 8-under 63 in the second round. Eckroat also broke the 54-hole championship scoring record at the 2015 Scott Robertson Memorial by four strokes. He was the 2015 Oklahoma Junior Amateur Champion and won his US Amateur Local Qualifier. Eckroat had a thrid-place finish at the 2015 AJGA Ping Invitational. “Being selected to represent the Red, White, & Blue is the greatest honor. I am looking forward to playing some great golf in Japan,” Eckroat said.

Thomson was named a Second Team Rolex Junior All-American for the 2015 AJGA season. He won the 2015 AJGA Chateau Elan Junior All-Star. In 2014, Thomson became the youngest ever qualifier in the history of the U.S. Amateur. He won the 2014 International Junior Masters and was the youngest champion in the 62-year history of the event. He also repeated as New York State Boys Amateur Champion in 2014 with a 21-stroke victory. “It is a great honor for me to have been selected to represent my country in the Junior Golf World Cup. I’m excited to be part of the team and to travel internationally to compete with the best junior golfers in the world,” said Thomson.

Wolff was the 2014 & 2015 Toyota Tour Cup Championship winner at Sandpiper Golf Club. He collected victories from the Toyota Tour Cup at River Ridge Golf Club, Olivas Links Golf Club, and Alisal River Course in 2014. He was also the champion at the AJGA JAS at Tanglewood Park Championship Golf Course. Wolff has been named to the 2015 Wyndham Cup West Team, 2015 SCPGA Challenge Cup Team, and the 2014 & 2015 SCPGA All Southern California Team. He received the 2015 SCPGA Curtis Cup Award, 2014 SCPGA Ralph Miller Award, and was named 2014 Toyota Tour Cup Player of the Year. He was a part of Westlake High School’s 2014 & 2015 State Championship teams. “It is extremely humbling being selected out of so many amazing junior golfers in the USA. It’s going to be a challenge playing in a foreign country but I’m looking forward to competing and showcasing my talents against all the top junior golfers from around the world,” Wolff said.

Xiong was the 2014 & 2015 Toyota Tour Cup Champion at The Golf Club of La Quinta. He also collected wins from the 2015 Toyota Tour Cup at Saboba Springs and Morongo Legends Courses. Xiong was the 2014 Toyota Tour Cup winner at Red Hawk Temecula. In 2014, Xiong had AJGA tournament wins at Mill River Foundation, Sunriver Bend, and Nike JAS Invitational at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. He received selections to the 2015 Wyndham Cup West Team, 2015 SCPGA Challenge Cup Team, and was named a 2014 & 2015 AJGA 2nd Team All American, and 2014 Gary Gilcrest AJGA All American. He is the winner of the 2015 SCPGA Ralph Miller Award and 2014 SCPGA Curtis Cup Award. He was also a 2015 Southern California High School Champion. “It's an honor to be selected as one of the few to represent the USA in such a world class event,” Xiong says.

The Junior Golf World Cup, which follows a four-players-count-three scores format, will consist of four rounds played June 14-17. The TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup 2016 Supported by JAL is the world’s only junior golf championship in which national teams, winners of regional qualifiers held across 6 continents and participated by more than 60 national squads, compete for the world champion trophy.

                 
Coach Jeff Roope                 Austin Eckroat                      Will Thompson  

       Matthew Wolff                       Norman Xiong
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Arnold Palmer Cup Teams

Team USA

 

Team Europe

 
1.    Derek Bard    Virginia        1.    David Boote    Stanford    
2.    Charlie Danielson    Illinois       2.    Mathias Eggenberger    Stirling     
3.    Alistair Docherty    Chico State       3.    Stuart Grehan    Maynooth     
4.    Will Gordon    Vanderbilt       4.    Sam Horsfield    Florida    
5.    Rico Hoey    USC       5.    Adrian Meronk    ETSU     
6.    Michael Johnson    Auburn       6.    Robin Petersson    Augusta     
7.    Maverick McNealy    Stanford       7.    Antoine Rozner    UMKC     
8.    Nahum Mendoza III    San Diego State       8.    Matthias Schwab    Vanderbilt     
9.    Zach Wright    LSU       9.    Robin Sciot-Siegrist    Louisville    
10.    Will Zalatoris    Wake Forest       10.    Lars van Meijel    Memphis    
 
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