Press Release Written by Ben Harris of the Ben Hogan Award
FORT WORTH, TX (April 13, 2016)--Colonial Country Club, Friends of Golf (FOG) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) have announced that five previous semifinalists and five newcomers comprise the 10 semifinalists for the 2016 Ben Hogan Award.
The Ben Hogan Award presented by Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta) is issued 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 past 12-month period. The Ben Hogan Award Selection Committee, which votes during each stage of the process, is comprised of 25 leaders and experts in professional, amateur and collegiate golf.
The semifinalists, in alphabetical order, are: Charlie Danielson (Illinois, Sr.), Sam Horsfield (Florida, Fr.), Beau Hossler (Texas, Jr.), Michael Johnson (Auburn, Sr.), Lee McCoy (Georgia, Sr.), Maverick McNealy (Stanford, Jr.), Matt NeSmith (South Carolina, Sr.), Jon Rahm (Arizona State, Sr.), Robby Shelton (Alabama, Jr.) and Aaron Wise (Oregon, So.).
Rahm is the reigning Ben Hogan Award winner and is attempting to become the first two-time recipient. McNealy was a finalist in 2015, while Hossler, McCoy and Shelton were semifinalists. Shelton is now a three-time semifinalist (2014, 2015, 2016).
On Tuesday, May 3, the list of 10 semifinalists will be pared down to three finalists. The three finalists will attend a black-tie banquet at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on Monday, May 23, where the winner will be crowned.
The award, which was first issued 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 at Colonial prior to the start of the PGA Tour’s DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.
Since that time, the winners have been: 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).
Notable semifinalists over the years include: Jonas Blixt (Florida State), Bud Cauley (Alabama), Kevin Chappell (UCLA), Harris English (Georgia), Chesson Hadley (Georgia Tech), Brian Harman (Georgia), Russell Henley (Georgia), Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina), Anthony Kim (Oklahoma), Scott Langley (Illinois), Spencer Levin (New Mexico), Webb Simpson (Wake Forest), Jordan Spieth (Texas), Justin Thomas (Alabama), Michael Thompson (Alabama), Camilo Villegas (Florida) and Nick Watney (Fresno State).
MORE ON SEMIFINALISTS
Name – School, Year, Hometown
Charlie Danielson– Illinois, Sr., Osceola, Wis.
Sam Horsfield– Florida, Fr., Davenport, Fla.
Beau Hossler– Texas, Jr., Mission Viejo, Calif.
Michael Johnson– Auburn, Sr., Birmingham, Ala.
Lee McCoy– Georgia, Sr., Clarkesville, Ga.
Maverick McNealy– Stanford, Jr., Portola Valley, Calif.
Matt NeSmith– South Carolina, Sr., North Augusta, S.C.
Jon Rahm– Arizona State, Sr., Barrika, Spain
Robby Shelton– Alabama, Jr., Wilmer, Ala.
Aaron Wise– Oregon, So., Lake Elsinore, Calif.
Notes About the Semifinalists:
• The Ben Hogan Award semifinalist group includes five seniors, three juniors, one sophomore and one freshman.
• This is the second straight year, but just the second time since 2005, that no teammates are among the semifinalists.
• All 10 semifinalists are inside the top 25 in all four major ranking systems (Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking, World Amateur Golf Ranking, Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and Golfstat Head-to-Head Rankings).
• The Southeastern Conference has the most semifinalists (5). Last year, the SEC and Pac-12 each had three to lead the nation. It marks the first time since 2011 that the Pac-12 does not rank first or tied for first.
• Five of the 10 nominees (Beau Hossler, Lee McCoy, Maverick McNealy, Jon Rahm and Robby Shelton) are semifinalists for the second straight year, with Shelton being named for the third consecutive season.
• Jon Rahm is attempting to become the first two-time winner in the award’s history.
• Sam Horsfield is the first freshmen to be named a semifinalist since Robby Shelton in 2014. Other freshmen semifinalists in the past five years include: Brandon Stone (2013), Julien Brun (2012), Cheng-Tsung Pan (2012), Patrick Rodgers (2012), Jordan Spieth (2012) and Justin Thomas (2012).
• Matt NeSmith is the first semifinalist in South Carolina history.
• Alabama has had at least one semifinalist in nine consecutive years (Michael Thompson-2008; Bud Cauley-2009, 2010, 2011; Justin Thomas-2012, 2013; Bobby Wyatt-2013, 2014; Robby Shelton-2014, 2015, 2016), which is the longest active streak in the country.
• Other schools with active semifinalist streaks include: Stanford (7), Georgia (3), Arizona State (2) and Texas (2).
• Four schools with 2015 semifinalists are home to former Hogan Award winners (Arizona State-Jon Rahm, Florida-Matt Every, Georgia-Chris Kirk and Stanford-Patrick Rodgers).