Feb. 5, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Coming off a solid fall season which included a trio of individual medalist honors, Western Carolina junior J.T. Poston was listed among 30 collegiate golfers named to the 2014 The Ben Hogan Award Watch List on Wednesday. The list is the largest since 33 players were named in 2004.
Poston's appearance on the list is the first for a Catamount men's golfer. WCU is among five schools nationally with a first-time selection on the watch list.
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, which votes during each stage of the process, is comprised of leaders in professional, amateur and collegiate golf.
The 2014 The Ben Hogan Award Watch List, as determined by the award's subcommittee, includes: Anders Albertson (Georgia Tech), Julien Brun (TCU), Sebastian Cappelen (Arkansas), Corey Conners (Kent State), Ian Davis (Oklahoma State), Bryson Dechambeau (SMU), Thomas Detry (Illinois), Greg Eason (UCF), Joey Garber (Georgia), Oliver Goss (Tennessee), Gavin Green (New Mexico), Brandon Hagy (California), Toni Hakula (Texas), Chase Koepka (USF), Denny McCarthy (Virginia), Trey Mullinax (Alabama), Jordan Niebrugge (Oklahoma State), Cheng-Tsung Pan (Washington), Taylor Pendrith (Kent State), J.T. Poston (Western Carolina), Patrick Rodgers (Stanford), Ollie Schniederjans (Georgia Tech), Robby Shelton (Alabama), Bradley Shigezawa (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps), Joel Stalter (California), Scott Vincent (Virginia Tech), Michael Weaver (California), Cory Whitsett (Alabama), Cameron Wilson (Stanford) and Bobby Wyatt (Alabama).
Eight of the golfers have previously been named to the Watch List and two - TCU's Brun (2013) and Stanford's Rodgers (2012) - have been finalists for the award.
Riding the positive momentum from his play during the summer - which included winning the Southwestern Amateur Championship in late June and qualifying for the 113th annual United States Amateur Championship - Poston claimed his first collegiate medalist honors in the season opening Golfweek Program Challenge. He followed that tournament title up with his second, first-place finish at the Cardinal Intercollegiate before pacing the field in the 54-hole Hummingbird Intercollegiate, hosted by WCU at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley.
In late October, Poston stood atop the GolfStatCup rankings - a position he resumed through play a month later with a scoring total of 68.93. The Hickory N.C., product was also listed as the fourth-ranked golfer among all NCAA Division I men's players at the conclusion of the fall season.
A list of 10 semifinalists, which could include individuals not on the current list, will be unveiled on Wednesday, April 16. On Wednesday, May 7, that group will be pared down to three finalists. The winner will be crowned at a black-tie banquet at Colonial Country Club on Sunday, May 18, prior to the start of the PGA TOUR's 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), Peter Uihlein (Oklahoma State, 2011), Patrick Cantlay (UCLA, 2012) and Chris Williams (Washington, 2013).
To find the latest information on The Ben Hogan Award, its candidates and its previous winners, visit TheBenHoganAward.org and follow @BenHoganAward on Twitter.
About the Candidates:
With 30 players included, the Watch List is the second biggest list since it began in 2002, behind only the 33 players named in 2004;
The Ben Hogan Award Watch List includes 15 seniors, nine juniors, five sophomores and one freshman;
The list features five of the top 10 golfers and 18 of the top 25 players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking ... It also boasts eight of the top 10 golfers and 17 of the top 25 players in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking;
On the college side, the list includes eight of the top 10 players in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin individual rankings and 18 of the top 25 ... It also contains eight of the top 10 players and 16 of the top 25 golfers in the Golfstat rankings;
A total of 21 universities are represented on the Watch List. Six schools--Alabama (4), California (3), Georgia Tech (2), Kent State (2), Oklahoma State (2) and Stanford (2)--have multiple nominees;
The four members of the Alabama Crimson Tide match the most ever on the Watch List by one school, tying Oklahoma State (2010) and California (2013);
This is the ninth consecutive year that Stanford has had a player named to the Watch List, the longest active streak by any school. The next longest active streaks are Alabama (7) and Illinois (5);
Nearly half (13 of the 30) of the Watch List is comprised of athletes from the Southeastern Conference (7) and Pac-12 Conference (6). The other leagues with multiple student-athletes on the Watch List include: Big 12 (4), Atlantic Coast (4), American (3) and Mid-American (2);
Five schools have a member on the Watch List for the first time ever (Tennessee, UCF, USF, Virginia and Western Carolina);
Twenty-two of the 30 golfers are appearing on the Watch List for the first time; Three golfers (Julien Brun, Cheng-Tsung Pan and Patrick Rodgers) are on the Watch List for the third straight season;
Brun (2013) and Rodgers (2012) have previously been finalists for the award. In addition, Brun (2012, 2013), Pan (2012, 2013), Rodgers (2012, 2013) and Bobby Wyatt (2013) have been semifinalists in the past;
Twelve of the 30 players hail from foreign countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Malaysia, Taiwan and Zimbabwe);
Bradley Shigezawa of Division III Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is the lone non-Division I golfer on the list.
Western Carolina opens the spring portion of its 2013-14 schedule with the first of back-to-back trips to the state of Alabama in early March. WCU looks to improve upon its seventh-place finish in last year's Samford Intercollegiate when it visits the Hoover Country Club on March 3-4 before traveling to the Tiger Invitational at Grand National in Opelika, Ala.