Junior is first recipient in Arizona State history and inaugural European honoree
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 18, 2015) – Arizona State junior Jon Rahm was named the 2015 winner of The Ben Hogan Award Monday night in a joint announcement by Colonial Country Club, Friends of Golf (FOG) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) at the annual award’s banquet.
The first honoree in school history, Rahm is the fourth straight winner from the Pac-12 Conference, following UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay (2012), Washington’s Chris Williams (2013) and Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers (2014). He is the first recipient not born in North America and just the second foreign-born player ever, joining Canadian Nick Taylor (2010).
The Ben Hogan Award is presented 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 12-month period dating from the previous award’s banquet.
Rahm, a native of Barrika, Spain, is the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings as well as the Scratch Players World Rankings. Meanwhile, he is listed second in both the Golfstat Rankings and Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. He is the only player in the world listed among the top five in each of the four ranking systems.
He has won four college tournaments in 2014-15, capped by a two-shot victory at the NCAA San Diego Regional this past weekend. He also won the Duck Invitational, ASU Thunderbird and Bill Cullum Invite. The junior has 10 consecutive top-8 finishes at college events and owns a 68.78 stroke average. His average is the second-best in recorded NCAA history, behind only fellow finalist Maverick McNealy of Stanford (68.70).
In February, Rahm tied for fifth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, becoming the first amateur to place in the top five at a PGA TOUR event since 2008. He finished the event with a 12-under-par 272.
This summer, Rahm will compete on the European Palmer Cup roster for the second straight year. He helped lead his side to victory in 2014 with a team-best 3.5-point performance. In addition, he won the 2014 Eisenhower Trophy given to the medalist of the World Team Amateur and broke Jack Nicklaus’ scoring record by six shots. Last summer, he also won the Spanish Amateur Championship and reached the U.S. Amateur’s round of 16.
Tournament chairman Bobby Patton presented Rahm with an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s 2016 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. In addition, Arizona State earned a $25,000 grant for its men’s golf scholarship program. Rodgers was on hand to award the trophy to his successor.
The other finalists, McNealy and Washington’s Cheng-Tsung Pan, each earned their respective schools $12,500 grants. All three finalists were present for the announcement, which was made at a black-tie banquet at Colonial Country Club.
In all, a record $64,000 in grants will be distributed. Additionally, for the first time, the other seven semifinalists’ schools will receive grants of $2,000 each. The remaining semifinalists were: Gavin Green (New Mexico), Beau Hossler (Texas), Kyle Jones (Baylor), Lee McCoy (Georgia), Robby Shelton (Alabama), Ollie Schniederjans (Georgia Tech) and Hunter Stewart (Vanderbilt).
The Ben Hogan Award selection committee is made up of 25 leaders and experts in amateur, college and professional golf. In order to determine the winner, each committee member cast a ballot that ranked the finalists first, second and third.
The award, which was founded by FOG 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. FOG teamed with members of Colonial Country Club and moved the award presentation to the course known as “Hogan’s Alley.”
Since that time, the winners have included: 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) and Patrick Rodgers (Stanford, 2014).
For information on The Ben Hogan Award, visit www.TheBenHoganAward.org and follow @BenHoganAward on Twitter.