Thornberry Named Semifinalist for Ben Hogan Award
April 12, 2018

FORT WORTH, Texas - Ole Miss men's golfer Braden Thornberry was named a semifinalist for the 2018 Ben Hogan Award, the Hogan Trophy Award Foundation, Friends of Golf (FOG) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) announce Thursday afternoon. The first semifinalist for the award in school history, Thornberry is one of 10 golfers up for the honor that goes to the best collegiate golfer in the country.

The Ben Hogan Award is issued annually in May 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 award's selection committee, which votes during each stage of the process, is comprised of nearly two dozen leaders and experts in professional, amateur and collegiate golf.

Over the past 12 months, Thornberry has certainly been at the top of the amateur golf world. He currently holds the No. 1 spot in Golfweek/'s world rankings. At the end of May, he captured the NCAA Arnold Palmer Individual National Championship and finished with a 69.57 stroke average to lead the nation. In June, he was named the winner of the 2017 Fred Haskins Award, presented to the most outstanding collegiate golfer in the nation. Thornberry went on to earn All-America honors and was selected to the All-Nicklaus team. Two months later, he helped Team USA capture the Walker Cup by going 2-0 in singles matches. One victory was over Harry Ellis, the 2017 British Amateur champion. Prior to the start of the fall season, Thornberry competed in the U.S. Amateur where he defeated the then-No. 1 amateur in the world Joaquin Niemann.

For the Rebels this season, Thornberry holds a team-best 69.81 stroke average to rank third in the SEC and 14th nationally. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, native has been Ole Miss' top golfer in eight of the nine tournaments, collecting three individual victories along the way. He won the season-opening Shoal Creek Invitational (Sept. 25-26) before claiming the Franklin Mortgage Intercollegiate at The Grove (Oct. 9-10). Last month (March 25-27), he led the Rebels to a team victory at the Hootie at Bulls Bay while finishing at the top of the individual leaderboard. With 10 medalist honors throughout his career, Thornberry is the only golfer to reach double figures in individual wins in Ole Miss history. 

All 10 semifinalists are currently ranked among the top 30 in each of the four major ranking systems--Golfstat NCAA Player Ranking, Golfweek/Sagarin Collegiate Individual Ranking, Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Each semifinalist's school receives a scholarship grant for its men's golf program. Since 2002, the Hogan Trophy Award Foundation has awarded over $700,000 in scholarships to more than two dozen universities.

On Wednesday, May 2, the group of semifinalists will be pared down to three finalists. The three finalists will then travel to Fort Worth, Texas, to attend a black-tie banquet where the winner will be crowned at Colonial Country Club on Monday, May 21, prior to the start of the PGA TOUR's Fort Worth Invitational.

Thornberry and the Rebels return to the course next week, remaining in state for the Old Waverly Intercollegiate. The tournament, located in West Point, Mississippi, begins Monday, April 16 with 36 holes before concluding with an additional 18 on Tuesday, April 17. For all Ole Miss Men's Golf news and information, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMGolf, on Instagram at OleMissMGolf and on Facebook at Ole Miss Men's Golf.

About the Ben Hogan Award
The Ben Hogan Trophy was first issued 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 collegiate golfer. In 2005, the tradition of inviting the three finalists began.

Winners of the Ben Hogan Award include seven golfers currently ranked in the top 100 in the Official World Golf Rankings--Jon Rahm (2015, 2016), Rickie Fowler (2008), Patrick Cantlay (2012), Kyle Stanley (2009), Peter Uihlein (2011), Bill Haas (2004) and Ryan Moore (2005). Other recipients include: Ricky Barnes (2003), Matt Every (2006), Chris Kirk (2007), Hunter Mahan (2003), Maverick McNealy (2017), Patrick Rodgers (2014), Nick Taylor (2010), D.J. Trahan (2002) and Chris Williams (2013).

Some notable semifinalists over the years include: Jonas Blixt (Florida State), Bud Cauley (Alabama), Kevin Chappell (UCLA), Bryson Dechambeau (SMU), Harris English (Georgia), Brian Harman (Georgia), Russell Henley (Georgia), Beau Hossler (Texas), Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina), Michael Kim (California), Scott Langley (Illinois), Spencer Levin (New Mexico), Cheng-Tsung Pan (Washington), Patrick Reed (Augusta State), Ollie Schneiderjans (Georgia Tech), Webb Simpson (Wake Forest), Jordan Spieth (Texas), Justin Thomas (Alabama), Michael Thompson (Alabama), Camilo Villegas (Florida) and Nick Watney (Fresno State).

2018 Ben Hogan Award Semifinalists
Shintaro Ban, UNLV, Sr., San Jose, Calif.
Zach Bauchou, Oklahoma State, Jr., Forest, Va.
Doug Ghim, Texas, Sr., Arlington Heights, Ill.
Viktor Hovland, Oklahoma State, So., Oslo, Norway
Theo Humphrey, Vanderbilt, Sr., Greenwich, Conn.
Collin Morikawa, California, Jr., La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.
Fredrik Nilehn, Texas Tech, Sr., Goteborg, Sweden
Justin Suh, Southern California, Jr., San Jose, Calif.
Braden Thornberry, Ole Miss, Jr., Olive Branch, Miss.
Norman Xiong, Oregon, So., Canyon Lake, Calif.






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