Rickie Fowler wins NCAA's Ben Hogan Award
18 May 2008
FT. WORTH, Texas (May 18, 2008)--Oklahoma State’s Rickie Fowler has been named the winner of the 2008 Ben Hogan Award it was announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America on Sunday night at the Hogan Award Banquet in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Hogan is presented annually to the top men’s NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or junior college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during the last 12 months.
The Cowboy freshman was one of three finalists for the award, joining Alabama senior Michael Thompson and Southern California sophomore Jamie Lovemark.
“Being up against Michael and Jamie, I look at them as two of the best players out there. For me to be picked from a group that includes them, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Fowler said.
“I look at Ben Hogan as the king of golf. To win an award that represents him, his work ethic and everything he did for the game is inspiring to me to go out and work hard.”
Fowler has competed in 11 stroke play tournaments this season for the Cowboys, earning top 10s in each of his first nine starts.
It took Fowler just two events to produce his first victory as he claimed medalist honors at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational. The Murrieta, Calif., native’s triumph included a second-round 63 at Olympia Fields Country Club, matching the course record held by Vijay Singh. In the process, he directed the Cowboys to the first of their three team titles this season.
Following his win, Fowler was named the Southern Golf Association’s National Amateur of the Month as well as the Big 12 Golfer of the Month for September.
Fowler produced a pair of fourth-place finishes in the fall as well before opening the spring slate with the first of his two runner-up finishes. In addition to his second-place showing at the Puerto Rico Classic, he also tied for second at the U.S. Collegiate Championship.
The top-ranked player in the country, Fowler broke through with his first win of the spring at the Big 12 Championship, posting a four-shot victory en route to helping the Cowboys to their 51st conference title. Following his win, he was tabbed as the Big 12 Player and Newcomer of the Year.
On the amateur level, Fowler enjoyed a breakout summer in 2007, winning the Sunnehanna Amateur with an 8-under total of 272 that included rounds of 68, 67, 67 and 70. A quarterfinalist at the Western Amateur, Fowler also posted a victory at the Players Amateur where he carded scores of 68, 63, 64 and 69 en route to a 24-under-par total of 264.
With his victory at the Players Amateur, Fowler earned an invitation to the PGA Tour’s Verizon Heritage this past April in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Fowler capped his summer by earning a spot on the U.S. Walker Cup squad. The youngest member of the team, he tallied a 3-1 mark in the prestigious event to help the Americans to a 12.5-11.5 victory over the European squad.
In June, he will compete as a member of the American squad in the Palmer Cup, an annual Ryder Cup-style competition that matches the top collegiate players from the U.S. against their counterparts from Europe.
Fowler is the first freshman to win the Ben Hogan Award and becomes the fourth Cowboy to claim the honor, joining Kevin Wentworth (1990), Trip Kuehne (1995) and Hunter Mahan (2003).