In a move that surprised few in the golf world, Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers was awarded the coveted Ben Hogan Award on Sunday, the highest honor for an American amateur collegian. The Ben Hogan Award has been handed out annually since its inception in 1990 and its namesake is one of the great American golfing pioneers. It is meant to honor “the outstanding male amateur and collegiate golfer of the year” and is sponsored by Colonial Country Club (where the award ceremony was held), the Friends of Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Rodgers, who announced in March his intention to turn professional at the end of the spring season, has had a truly outstanding campaign that has included six individual wins and nine top-10 tournament finishes. The Avon, Indiana, native really started to turn the corner when the team returned for the spring portion of its schedule, which has seen him rattle off five wins in his last six starts while placing second in the other. He claimed medalist honors at the Pac-12 Championships — an effort for which he was awarded Pac-12 Player of the Year — and also at the recent NCAA Eugene Regional. As a finalist for the award in 2012 as well, Rodgers heads into this week’s NCAA Championships as one of the favorites for the individual crown.
Stanford senior Cameron Wilson, the sixth-ranked amateur golfer in the world, was also a finalist and accompanied Rodgers and Cardinal head coach Conrad Ray to Fort Worth, Texas, for the festivities. Wilson, who has recorded top-10 individual finishes in all but one event this season, has been an impeccably steady performer in Ray’s lineup for much of the past three seasons. Preparing to graduate with a degree in history in June, Wilson too plans to turn professional sometime this summer and take the next steps toward earning PGA Tour status.
In addition to the notoriety and hardware, Rodgers was given a sponsor exemption to next year’s PGA Tour Colonial event and $25,000 to be used by the men’s golf program. By virtue of being a finalist, Wilson also earned $12,500 for Ray’s squad.
Contact Cameron Miller at cmiller6 ‘at’ stanford.edu.