Haskins Award: 10 players to watch at midseason
Friday, November 29, 2013
We’re halfway through the college season, and while many tournaments still remain, certain players have put themselves in front for the Haskins Award, which honors college golf’s top player. Players not on the list are not excluded from consideration. Players can still play their way into contention this spring.
Here’s a look some frontrunners, potential winners and surprise players of the fall:
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LEADERS IN THE CLUBHOUSE
Trey Mullinax, Alabama senior
Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.
Golfweek rank: 1
Fall finishes: T-4, OFCC Fighting Illini Invitational; 2nd, Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate; Won, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational; T-6, Gifford Collegiate
The skinny: Mullinax made a name for himself this fall, and that’s especially hard with names like Whitsett and Wyatt on a stacked Alabama team. He has stepped out of the shadows and into the spotlight showing he can win and contend at tournaments on the grandest of stages.
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Ollie Schniederjans, Georgia Tech junior
Hometown: Powder Springs, Ga.
Golfweek rank: 2
Fall finishes: T-1, Carpet Capital Collegiate; 3rd, Tar Heel Intercollegiate; T-4, Brickyard Collegiate; Won, U.S. Collegiate Championship
The skinny: Possibly the most dominant player of the fall with his two wins at two tournaments with top-notch fields. Schniederjans' wins at the Carpet Capital and the U.S. Collegiate were his first and second wins of his collegiate career, and with that, expect him to be hungry for more in the spring.
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Brandon Hagy, California senior
Hometown: Westlake Village, Calif.
Golfweek rank: 4
Fall finishes: 2nd, Gopher Invitational; 3rd, St. Mary’s (Calif.) Invitational; Won, Jack Nicklaus Invitational; T-4 Alister MacKenzie Invitational; T-8, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
The skinny: Has shown he can play with anyone over the last two years. Hagy’s length and putting is a huge factory in why he has five top-10 finishes in five events this fall. He has one of the best head-to-head records thus far this season with a 350-13-5 record.
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Ben Crancer, Texas A&M sophomore
Hometown: Kirkwood, Mo.
Golfweek rank: 5
Fall finishes: Won, Dick’s Challenge Cup; T-8, Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate; T-23, U.S. Collegiate Championship
The skinny: When Crancer won the Dick’s Challenge Cup with rounds of 68-63-66 and by seven shots, he showed that he can play with top talent. His game has come around since joining the Aggies last fall.
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Patrick Rodgers, Stanford junior
Hometown: Avon, Ind.
Golfweek rank: 24
Fall finishes: T-21, OFCC Fighting Illini Invitational; Won, Erin Hill Intercollegiate; T-15, U.S. Collegiate Championship; T-8, Royal Oaks Intercollegiate
The skinny: Rodgers struggled this fall, although he picked up his sixth collegiate career victory. Expect more out of this talented Cardinal as the spring race for player of the year heats up.
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Michael Kim, California junior
Hometown: Del Mar, Calif.
Golfweek rank: 67
Fall finishes: T-8, St. Mary’s (Calif.) Invitational; T-11, Jack Nicklaus Invitational; T-18, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
The skinny: The reigning Haskins Award winner isn’t living up to last season's hype, where he won four times and finished in the top 10 in 10 of 14 stroke-play events. He was absent for two of Cal’s tournaments this fall due to the Walker Cup and illness, but don’t rule him out just yet. As long as he stays in school, after a little break this winter, Kim should be ready to go in the spring and help the Bears make a run to the national championship.
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Gavin Green, New Mexico junior
Golfweek rank: 18
Fall finishes: 3rd, Gopher Invitational; T-7, Golfweek Conference Challenge; T-1, William H. Tucker Championship; T-16, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational; T-15 Royal Oaks Intercollegiate; Won, Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic
The skinny: Green made a name for himself by winning the All-America Golf Classic in El Paso for his second win of the fall season. He can close tournaments with low final rounds (5-under 66, All-America Golf Classic).
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Scott Vincent, Virginia Tech junior
Golfweek rank: 20
Fall finishes: T-1, Golfweek Conference Challenge; Won, VCU Shootout; T-4 Brickyard Collegiate; Won, Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate; T-36, UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate
The skinny: In all three of his wins, Vincent shot low numbers to either win or come from behind and win, and that says a lot about Vincent as a player. He averaged a 69.71 in the fall and never shot over 75.
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J.T. Poston, Western Carolina junior
Hometown: Hickory, N.C.
Golfweek rank: 16
Fall finishes: Won, Golfweek Program Challenge; Won, Cardinal Intercollegiate; 4th, Wolfpack Intercollegiate; T-2, The Invitational at the Ocean Course; Won, Hummingbird Intercollegiate
The skinny: Three wins this fall is impressive. His overall head-to-head record is 348-4-1, but only 1-1-0 against top-25 players. He averaged a 68.93 this fall.
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Denny McCarthy, Virginia junior
Hometown: Rockville, Md.
Golfweek rank: 10
Fall finishes: 4th, Northern Intercollegiate; 5th, Dick’s Challenge Cup; 2nd, Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate; 15th, U.S. Collegiate Championship
The skinny: McCarthy was one of the top-ranked juniors coming out of the class of 2011. He has stayed under the radar for most of the last two years, but this year may be his coming-out party.
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OTHERS ON OUR RADAR
Michael Weaver, Senior, California; Bobby Wyatt, Senior, Alabama; Cory Whitsett, Senior, Alabama; Joey Garber, Senior, Georgia.
- Golfweek rankings as of Nov. 14