FORT WORTH, Texas (Aug. 9, 2021) — Three of the world’s top 50 amateur golfers – Sam Choi of New Mexico, Maxwell Moldovan of Ohio State and Michael Thorbjornsen of Stanford – are the finalists for The Ben Hogan Award Golfer of the Month accolades. All are first-time contenders for the monthly hoor.
Choi, a senior from Seoul, South Korea, claimed a two-shot victory at the Maridoe Amateur with a 54-hole score of 207 (-9). He also tied for second at the Pacific Coast Amateur after shooting a 72-hole, 12-under 272 to earn a spot in a playoff for the individual title. Over the two tournaments, he posted a scoring average of 68.43. Choi is ranked No. 11 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and No. 28 in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR).
Moldovan, a product of Uniontown, Ohio, was the champion of the 115th Southern Amateur Championship, shattering the tournament record by six shots with a four-round 264 (-20). In addition, the sophomore reached the Western Amateur’s Sweet 16 in match play after tying for 15th in stroke play (274, -6). He also took 54th at the North & South Amateur and had a 68.20 stroke average over the three events. Moldovan is listed seventh in the Scratch Players ranking and is No. 52 according to WAGR.
Thorbjornsen, a sophomore from Wellesley, Mass., won the 119th Western Amateur Championship match play title (4 and 3) after also finishing the event as the stroke play medalist (267, -13) to become the first player since 2017 to sweep both titles. He also was victorious at the 113th Massachusetts Amateur, winning the championship match 8 and 6 after placing second in stroke play. Thorbjornsen is rated 14th by SPWAR and No. 29 in the WAGR.
The Ben Hogan Award’s monthly honor counts any college, amateur or professional event completed during the month. Fifteen total ballots are eligible to be cast, with 12 coming from members of the Hogan Trophy Award Foundation and Friends of Golf and three social media fan ballots. Those votes are issued to the top vote getter on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, with the contests open through Wednesday, Aug. 11 at noon (CT). The winner of the monthly award will be named Wednesday afternoon.
The Ben Hogan Award is given annually to the top men’s college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions over the previous 12 months. The Ben Hogan Trophy was first issued by the Friends of Golf at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles in 1990. In 2002, The Ben Hogan Award moved to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, and revised its criteria to its current standard of honoring the outstanding amateur and collegiate golfer.