Haskins Award Watch List
Maverick McNealy
Maverick McNealy

The fall college golf season is well underway, and the race for the 2016 Haskins Award is heating up.

The Haskins Award presented by Stifel is given annually to the best college player, as voted by players, coaches and media. Haskins Award winners over the years include such notable professionals as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan.

Andy Zunz breaks down his top candidates for the 2015-16 award:

• • •

1. Maverick McNealy
Year: Junior

School: Stanford

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 3

Results: Won, Olympia Fields CC Illini Invitational; T-5 Nike Golf Collegiate; T-1 U.S. Collegiate Championship

The buzz: Just when it seems like the defending Haskins Award winner is going to slip up, he continues to impress. McNealy closed with a 67 amid a stacked field at the U.S. Collegiate, rising 16 spots on the leaderboard to share the title. He now has two wins this year and three top-five finishes in elite events.

2. Jon Rahm
Year: Senior

School: Arizona State

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 7

Results T-9, Olympia Fields CC Illini Invitational; 10, The Jackrabbit; T-2, Alister MacKenzie Invitational; Won, Tavistock Collegiate Invitational

The buzz: Rahm reminded everyone why he won the 2015 Hogan Award, taking a runner-up finish at the Alister MacKenzie and winning amid a strong field at Isleworth. At the Tavistock Collegiate, the long-hitting Spaniard impressed at a track that gave the rest of the field fits, closing with a 3-under 69.

3. Beau Hossler
Year: Junior

School: Texas

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 1

Results: Won, Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational; T-8 U.S. Collegiate Championship

The buzz: Hossler holds onto the No. 1 ranking in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings after taking a top-10 finish at the U.S. Collegiate. He has a 17-5 head-to- head record against top-25 opponents this season, second only to Maverick McNealy (22-3).

4. Robby Shelton
Year: Junior

School: Alabama

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 4

Results T-13, Olympia Fields CC Illini Invitational; Won, Dick's Collegiate Challenge Cup; Won, Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate

The buzz: Shelton has not competed since impressively winning back-to-back tournaments, the Dick's Collegiate Challenge Cup and the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate.

5. Michael Johnson
Year: Senior

School: Auburn

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 2

Results 11, Carpet Capital Collegiate; Won, Primland Collegiate Invitational; 2, Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate; T-5 U.S. Collegiate Championship

The buzz: The last of the class-of-2011 standouts, Johnson keeps having a great redshirt senior season, taking a top-five finish at the U.S. Collegiate to help lead his team to a shared victory.

• • •

Who is trending up and who is trending down this season?

Derek Bard, Virginia

The U.S. Am runner up gets a share of the U.S. Collegiate title for his first win of the year and second top-five finish.

Charlie Danielson, Illinois

Danielson took his first win of the season at Crooked Stick then followed that up with his third straight top- 10 finish of the year at Isleworth.

Thomas Detry, Illinois

After a fantastic start to the season (with a T-3 and a second), Detry went on to finish T-27 and T-37 to cap the stroke-play portion of his fall slate.

Jordan Niebrugge, Oklahoma State

It's not been a great start to the Walker Cupper's senior season, as he finished in the top 10 just once and capped the fall with a T-46 showing at the U.S. Collegiate.

ABOUT THE Haskins Award

Since 1971, the Haskins Award honors the most outstanding male college golfer each year. It is named in memory of Fred Haskins, former golf teaching professional at the Country Club of Columbus (Georgia) who devoted his life to nurturing and mentoring amateur players.

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