Hovland, Wolff, Morikawa remain in running for Ben Hogan Award
Viktor Hovland, Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa
Only three players remain in the countdown to the presentation of the Ben Hogan Award, and two of them are teammates. It shouldn’t take college golf fans long to solve that riddle.
Together with the Friends of Golf and Golf Coaches Association of America, the Hogan Trophy Award Foundation have announced California senior Collin Morikawa as one of the three finalists alongside Oklahoma State teammate Viktor Hovland (a junior) and Matthew Wolff (a sophomore).
Morikawa is among the three finalists for the second straight year, while Hovland and Wolff are the third set of teammates ever to be finalists. For the first time in the award’s history, all three players are ranked among the top five in all four major ranking systems.
The Ben Hogan Award is given annually to the top men’s college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions over the past 12 months. The selection committee is made up of 30 leaders and experts in amateur, college and professional golf. In order to determine the finalists, each committee member cast a ballot that ranked the group of 10 semifinalists from 1-10.
Hovland is currently ranked first in three systems: the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and Golfweek
/Sagarin College Ranking. In addition, he is listed third in the Golfstat College Ranking. Last month, he claimed the Silver Cup as the low amateur at the 2019 Masters Tournament after tying for 32nd place.
Teammate Wolff set a school record with five victories in 2018-19, winning the Carmel Cup, Olympia Fields Illini Invitational, Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, Amer Ari Invitational and Valspar Collegiate. He made his PGA Tour debut in February at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and tied for 50th, and was fourth at the Australian Master of the Amateurs to start the year.
Morikawa, who joins Patrick Cantlay, Rickie Fowler, Maverick McNealy, Jon Rahm and Patrick Rodgers as multi-time finalists, has not finished outside the top 7 in 10 starts with California in his senior season. That includes two runner-up showings and three third-place finishes in addition to his two victories. The California native most recently won the Pac-12 individual title.
The Hogan Award winner will hail from either the Pac-12 Conference or Big 12 Conference for the 10th straight year, as the Pac-12 had the recipient in 2010 and each year from 2012-17, while the winner came from Big 12 schools in 2011 and 2018.
All three finalists will attend a black-tie dinner at Colonial Country Club on Monday, May 20, where the winner will be presented the trophy from 2018 Ben Hogan Award winner Doug Ghim. This year’s recipient will receive the first exemption into the PGA TOUR’s 2019 Charles Schwab Invitational.
Information from the Ben Hogan Award used in this report