Thornberry Selected as Ben Hogan Award Finalist
May 3, 2018


FORT WORTH, Texas – Ole Miss men's golfer Braden Thornberry was named a finalist for the 2018 Ben Hogan Award, the Hogan Trophy Award Foundation, Friends of Golf (FOG) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) announced Thursday afternoon. The first finalist for the award in school history, Thornberry is one of three 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/AmateurGolf.com's world rankings. Additionally, he is among the leaders in the Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking (No. 8) and Golfstat College Ranking (No. 12). At the end of May, he captured the NCAA Arnold Palmer Individual National Championship after cruising to a four-shot win with a four-round 277 (-11). He finished the season with a 69.57 stroke average to lead the nation. He followed that up with a victory in a playoff at the 2017 Sunnehanna Amateur.

In June, Thornberry was named the winner of the 2017 Fred Haskins Award, presented to the most outstanding collegiate golfer in the nation. He also had top-10 placements at the 2018 Jones Cup Invitational, 2017 Pacific Coast Amateur and 2017 Patriot All-America. 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.

Thornberry tied for fourth place at the PGA TOUR’s FedEx St. Jude Classic in 2017, the highest finish by an amateur at the event since 1965. He also made cuts at the PGA TOUR’s 2017 RSM Classic (T61) and the Web.com Tour’s North Mississippi Classic (T22) last month.

For the Rebels this season, Thornberry owns four wins, seven top-5 finishes and nine top-20s in 11 college events with a 69.88 scoring average over 33 rounds. He won the season-opening Shoal Creek Invitational (Sept. 25-26) before claiming the Franklin Mortgage Intercollegiate at The Grove (Oct. 9-10). Thornberry led the Rebels to a team victory at the Hootie at Bulls Bay while finishing at the top of the individual leaderboard. Last month at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship (April 16-17), he cruised to a five-shot victory. He went on to earn SEC Golfer of the Week for the second time this season, the only golfer in the conference to win the honor multiple times. With 11 medalist honors throughout his career, Thornberry is the only golfer to reach double figures in individual wins in Ole Miss history. 

The three finalists will 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. This year’s recipient will receive the first exemption into the PGA TOUR’s 2019 Fort Worth Invitational.

Thornberry and the Rebels have a week off before heading to Texas for the NCAA Bryan Regional (May 14-16). 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).

Since the committee began inviting all three finalists to Colonial Country Club in 2005, notable finalists include six players currently inside the top 100 in the OWGR—No. 4 Spieth (2012), No. 50 Russell Henley (2010), No. 85 Jorge Campillo (2009), No. 87 Hossler (2016), No. 88 Ollie Schniederjans (2014) and No. 95 Jamie Lovemark (2008).

2018 Ben Hogan Award Finalists
Doug Ghim, Texas, Sr., Arlington Heights, Ill.
Collin Morikawa, California, Jr., La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.
Braden Thornberry, Ole Miss, Jr., Olive Branch, Miss.


 

 

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