Hovland, Wolff are Ben Hogan Award finalists

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FORT WORTH, Texas – Oklahoma State’s Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff have been named two of the three finalists for the Ben Hogan Award it was announced today by The Hogan Trophy Award Foundation, Friends of Golf (FOG) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).
Hovland and Wolff are the third set of teammates ever to be finalists. They are joined by California’s Collin Morikawa. For the first time in the award’s history, all three players are ranked among the top five in all four major ranking systems.
The Ben Hogan Award is given annually to the top men’s college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions over the past 12 months. The selection committee is made up of 30 leaders and experts in amateur, college and professional golf. In order to determine the finalists, each committee member cast a ballot that ranked the group of 10 semifinalists from 1-10.
Hovland is currently ranked first in three systems: World Amateur Golf Ranking, Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and Golfweek / Sagarin Ranking. In addition, he is listed third in the Golfstat College Ranking. Last month, he claimed the Silver Cup as the low amateur at the 2019 Masters Tournament after tying for 32nd place.
The native of Oslo, Norway, won the 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship title, tying the record for the fewest holes played in a U.S. Amateur since 1979 in the process. He was the runner-up at last year’s European Amateur, reached the round of 16 at the Amateur Championship and tied for eighth at the World Amateur Team Championship. Hovland also tied for 40th at the PGA TOUR’s 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
During college play, the junior has won three times, collecting titles at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, East Lake Cup and The Prestige. In addition, he has placed among the top 12 in all seven tournaments, including a runner-up showing at the Big 12 Championship.
For the season, Hovland boasts a stroke average of 68.53 with 13 of his 19 rounds in the 60s. He shared 11th place at the 2018 NCAA Championship.
Wolff is currently the top-ranked player in the Golfstat rankings and joins the other two finalists by being listed among the top four in all four ranking systems. He is rated second by Golfweek /Sagarin and is third in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and fourth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
The sophomore won a pair of matches as a member of the United States’ Arnold Palmer Cup team in 2018. In addition, he tied for 50th place at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open on the PGA TOUR. He tied for fourth at the Australia Master of the Amateurs as well.
During college play, Wolff set a school record with five victories in 2018-19, winning the Carmel Cup, Olympia Fields Illini Invitational, Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, Amer Ari Invitational and Valspar Collegiate. In addition, he boasts a 68.36 stroke average with 18 of his 28 rounds in the 60s. Wolff has finished inside in the top 15 in all 10 events. He shared seventh place at last year’s NCAA Championships and sank the clinching putt in match play that sealed the Cowboys’ national title.
Hovland and Wolff are each attempting to become the fourth winner from Oklahoma State, joining Hunter Mahan (2003), Fowler (2008) and Peter Uihlein (2011). Previous finalist teammates were Stanford’s Rodgers and Cameron Wilson in 2014 and Oklahoma State’s Uihlein and Kevin Tway in 2011.
OSU now has seven finalists since 2005, surpassing Stanford (6) for the most by any school.
The three student-athletes will attend a black-tie dinner at Colonial Country Club on Monday, May 20, where the winner will be presented the trophy from 2018 Ben Hogan Award winner Doug Ghim. This year’s recipient will receive the first exemption into the PGA TOUR’s 2019 Charles Schwab Invitational. Since 2002, the Hogan Trophy Award Foundation has awarded more than $700,000 in scholarships to over two dozen schools. Last year, $92,000 in grants was distributed.
The Ben Hogan Trophy was first issued by FOG 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 and collegiate golfer. In 2005, the tradition of inviting the three finalists began.
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Ken MacLeod

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