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Three Hogan Award Finalists Named
21 Apr 2020
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

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Hogan Award Finalists
Hogan Award Finalists

Three finalists have been named for the Ben Hogan Award.

Vanderbilt senior John Augenstein, Florida freshman Ricky Castillo and Pepperdine senior Sahith Theegala have been named finalists for the award, which recognizes year-long performance across competitive collegiate and amateur golf. All three are first-time finalists for the award, which many consider to be golf's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.

Most of the spring college golf season, along with the NCAA championships were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But collegiate golf is fortunate to be played in both fall and spring seasons, and there was still plenty of collegiate and amateur golf played in the past year. The selection committee -- made up of 30 leaders and experts in amateur, college and professional golf -- considered accomplishments over the period May 21, 2019 to March 12, 2020 in making their selections.


Normally the award is presented during the PGA Tour event at Colonial Country Club in a ceremony similar to the Heisman Award, with each finalist highlighted and the entire presentation streamed live. With the uncertainty of gatherings of any sort being held (especially at the first events when the PGA Tour returns to action) the decision was made to cancel the planned June 4 awards banquet.

The 2020 recipient, who will be named in June, earns the first invitation into the PGA TOUR’s 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge and will be honored during that week’s festivities.

“On behalf of the Hogan Trophy Award Foundation, I would like to congratulate John, Ricky and Sahith on being named finalists for the most prestigious award in men’s college and amateur golf,” Ben Hogan Award Chairman Harold Muckleroy said. “While the college golf season may have been shortened, the accomplishments of these three men over a nine-month period stand tall. We’d like to thank our esteemed selection committee for their hard work in selecting three deserving finalists among a field of outstanding contenders.”

About the finalists:

JOHN AUGENSTEIN view profile

John Augenstein is listed second in the Golfstat individual rankings, 9th in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Ranking, and 17th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). He helped lead Team USA to victory at the 2019 Walker Cup by posting a 2-1-1 record. He also is a member of both the 2019 and 2020 United States Palmer Cup teams.

Last summer, Augenstein was the runner-up (losing to Andy Ogletree in the final) at the U.S. Amateur Championship, earning berths into the 2020 Masters Tournament and 2020 U.S. Open as a result. He tied for 12th during the medal round and was a finalist for Ben Hogan Award August Golfer of the Month accolades.

This season, the native of Owensboro, Ky., averaged 69.95 strokes over 19 rounds across seven college events. He notched a victory at the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate and had two other top five finishes, including a runner-up showing at the Nike Golf Collegiate.

RICKY CASTILLO view profile

Castillo holds down the second position in both the World Amateur Golf Ranking and the Golfweek/Sagarin ranking. He earned a spot on the United States’ 2020 Palmer Cup team.

Last summer, Castillo reached the round of 16 at the 2019 U.S. Amateur after tying for second place during the medal portion of the event, and he also was a Western Amateur semifinalist. The native of Yorba Linda, Calif., made the quarterfinals of the 2019 North and South Amateur after claiming medalist honors in stroke play. He also placed among the top 10 at the Australian Master of the Amateurs.

In college play, Castillo won two tournaments, claiming the Sea Best Invitational and Florida Gators Invitational back-to-back in the spring. In all, he posted a 70.14 scoring average over seven events. He was the Ben Hogan Award Golfer of the Month for February and a finalist for the honor in August.

Should Castillo win, he would become the second freshman Ben Hogan Award winner, joining Oklahoma State’s Rickie Fowler in 2008. Notable freshmen finalists include: Fowler, Patrick Cantlay (2011), Jordan Spieth (2012) and Patrick Rodgers (2012).

SAHITH THEEGALA view profile

Sahith Theegala is a member of the Pepperdine Waves team that finished at the top of the final spring 2020 Division I Coaches Ranking, is the top-ranked college player in both the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and the Golfstat individual rankings. In addition, he is ranked No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and No. 4 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Ranking.

In amateur golf, Theegala won the 2019 Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) Amateur and advanced to the match play portion of both the U.S. Amateur and Western Amateur. In January, he won the prestigious Master of the Amateurs in Australia. In addition, he was the runner up at the 2019 Sahalee Players Amateur.

In college play in the 2019-20 season, Theegala won a pair of tournaments, the Southwest Invitational and the Alister MacKenzie Invitational. He had four more top-10 finishes and was among the top 20 in all eight events. The senior posted a 69.04 scoring average over 24 rounds.


ABOUT THE BEN HOGAN AWARD

The Ben Hogan Trophy was first issued by FOG in 1990 at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles and also included academic achievement in its original list of standards. In 2002, the Ben Hogan Award moved to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Hogan’s hometown and the site of five of his PGA TOUR victories. At that time, it revised its criteria to its current standard of honoring the outstanding amateur and collegiate golfer.

Winners of the Ben Hogan Award include three golfers currently ranked in the top 30 in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR)—No. 2 Jon Rahm (2015, 2016), No. 7 Patrick Cantlay (2012) and No. 27 Rickie Fowler (2008). Other recipients include: Ricky Barnes (2003), Matt Every (2006), Doug Ghim (2018), Bill Haas (2004), Chris Kirk (2007), Hunter Mahan (2003), Maverick McNealy (2017), Ryan Moore (2005), Patrick Rodgers (2014), Kyle Stanley (2009), Nick Taylor (2010), D.J. Trahan (2002), Peter Uihlein (2011), Viktor Hovland (2019) and Chris Williams (2013).

OF NOTE

* Florida’s Ricky Castillo is the second Florida golfer to be named an award finalist, joining 2006 Ben Hogan Award winner Matt Every. Vanderbilt’s John Augenstein and Pepperdine’s Sahith Theegala are the first golfers from Vanderbilt and Pepperdine, respectively, to be named finalists for the Ben Hogan Award.

* Three of the past four winners have been seniors--Jon Rahm (2016), Maverick McNealy (2017) and Doug Ghim (2018).

HOGAN AWARD PAST WINNERS

2019 – Viktor Hovland, Oklahoma State
2018 – Doug Ghim, Texas
2017 – Maverick McNealy, Stanford
2016 – Jon Rahm, Arizona State
2015 – Jon Rahm, Arizona State
2014 – Patrick Rodgers, Stanford
2013 – Chris Williams, Washington
2012 – Patrick Cantlay, UCLA
2011 – Peter Uihlein, Oklahoma State
2010 – Nick Taylor, Washington
2009 – Kyle Stanley, Clemson
2008 – Rickie Fowler, Oklahoma State
2007 – Chris Kirk, Georgia
2006 – Matt Every, Florida
2005 – Ryan Moore, UNLV
2004 – Bill Haas, Wake Forest
2003 – Ricky Barnes, Arizona & Hunter Mahan, Oklahoma State
2002 – D.J. Trahan, Clemson
2001 – Wil Collins, New Mexico
2000 – Chris James, Oklahoma
1999 – Steve Friesen, Nebraska
1998 – Jamie Broce, Ball State
1997 – Jeff Fahrenbruch, Texas
1996 – Mark Wilson, North Carolina
1995 – Trip Kuehne, Oklahoma State
1994 – William Blackmon, Auburn
1993 – Marten Olander, Alabama
1992 – Jon Lindquist, Gustavus Adolphus College
1991 – Brian Bridges, Kent State
1990 – Kevin Wentworth, Oklahoma State


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