May 10, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -- -
Stanford freshman Patrick Rodgers, along with UCLA's Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth of Texas, have been named finalists for the 2012 Ben Hogan Award, presented annually to the top player in collegiate golf.
The most prestigious award in men's college golf, 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 past 12-month period. The Ben Hogan Award Selection Committee represents leaders in professional, amateur and collegiate golf.
This is the youngest group of finalists in the award's history. Only one freshman, Oklahoma State's Rickie Fowler in 2008, has ever won The Ben Hogan Award, and no sophomore has ever been crowned.
Rodgers, a native of Avon, Ind., is currently among the top four in all four major rankings systems: WAGR, Scratch Players, Golfweek/Sagarin and Golfstat. Last summer, he represented the United States at the 2011 Walker Cup, finished second at the Players Amateur, took fourth at the Northeast Amateur and reached the round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur.
In his first collegiate season, Rodgers was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference after earning eight top-10 finishes, including wins at the Fighting Illini Invitational and the Western Intercollegiate. He was also recently named to the United States team that will compete in the 2012 Palmer Cup at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.
Cantlay, the world's number one ranked amateur according to the World Amateur Golf Rankings and the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings, is a finalist for the award for the second straight season. Last month, the sophomore from Los Alamitos, Calif., made the cut at the 2012 Masters and won the Silver Cup for finishing as the low amateur (T-47th).
He also was the low amateur at the 2011 U.S. Open after tying for 21st place. The runner up at the 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship at Erin Hills, Cantlay played on the U.S. Walker Cup team last summer. During the collegiate season, the first-team All-Pac-12 selection secured four top-10 individual finishes for the Bruins, including a pair of runner-up showings.
Spieth, who hails from Dallas, Texas, is the nation's top-ranked golfer in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings as well as the Golfstat rankings. He was recently named the Big 12's Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. The freshman captured three tournament wins and five additional top-six finishes in just nine events during his inaugural year at Texas.
Last summer, Spieth reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur and the Western Amateur and also competed for the United States' Walker Cup team. This April, he made the weekend at a PGA TOUR event, tying for 41st at the Valero Texas Open. He also competed in the Northern Trust Open in February, missing the cut by just two shots.
The three finalists will attend a black-tie banquet at Colonial Country Club on Monday, May 21, where the winner will be crowned prior to the start of the PGA TOUR's Crowne Plaza Invitational. The awards ceremony will air live on Golfweek TV on Golfweek.com beginning at 7 p.m. (CT).
The winner's university will receive a $20,000 grant to its men's golf scholarship program while the other finalists' schools will each receive $10,000 grants. In addition, the winner receives an exemption into the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
The award, which was first issued in 1990 and also 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.
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) and Peter Uihlein (Oklahoma State, 2011).
In addition to the above list of winners, the prestigious list of previous finalists includes current PGA TOUR players Bud Cauley, Anthony Kim, Spencer Levin, Graeme McDowell, Michael Thompson, Camilo Villegas and Nick Watney.