The newly released list of the semifinalists for the Ben Hogan Award, given by Colonial CC and The Friends of Golf, in cooperation with the Golf Coaches Association of America, has most of the usual suspects (for the complete list, see below). The only omission in my mind that you might question is Gary Woodland. The Kansas senior has three wins this season and a 72.1 stroke average. His problem is that his amateur record last summer is a little thin (quarterfinals at the Western, T-4 at the Porter Cup his only notable results) and his last two college starts he’s gone T-61 and T-15
Given the 10 who did make the cut, it’s tough to pick a favorite in my mind considering the award takes into account both your college and amateur record. East Tennessee State’s Rhys Davies is likely the top candidate for strictly college player of the year. Webb Simpson had a standout amateur season but his college play has been spotty. Oklahoma State sophomore Jonathan Moore has the Players Amateur title last summer and a win in Hawaii last February.
The Hogan Award selection committee will announce three finalists on May 2. The good news for the committee is that the banquet where the winner will be announced is set for May 21 (Monday prior to the PGA Tour’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial), two days after NCAA regionals. This allows them to avoid the fiasco of a year ago, where they did not include Oklahoma State’s Pablo Martin among the finalists because his team had a tournament that week and he couldn’t attend the dinner.
Rhys Davies, East Tennessee State, Sr.*
Billy Horschel, Florida, Soph.
Dustin Johnson, Coastal Carolina, Sr.
Chris Kirk, Georgia, Sr.*
Colt Knost, SMU, Sr.
Jamie Lovemark, Southern California, Fr.
Pablo Martin, Oklahoma State, Jr.*
Jonathan Moore, Oklahoma State, Soph.
Webb Simpson, Wake Forest, Jr.
Dawie Van Der Walt, Lamar, Jr.
- also semifinalists in 2006