Dustin Garza may say he isn’t disappointed that he was left off the Ben Hogan Award’s semifinalist list, but I’m not buying it. This award looks great on anyone’s resume and any golfer would be thrilled to win it.
I spoke to the Wichita State senior Wednesday. He mentioned some other players he felt were also snubbed.
“Two names that stick out right away to me are (Oregon State’s) Diego Velasquez and N.C. State’s Matt Hill,” Garza said. “Diego has been atop the rankings all year long, and why not Matt Hill? I know he has won recently and if this is based on the last 12 months he was last year’s NCAA champion.”
Garza has a point, but I still believe he was the biggest snub of them all. Despite what people may say about his amateur record, Garza can play. He has won six times this season, and has won 11 times over the last three years.
The Shockers may not play in the most elite fields week in week out, but that isn’t Garza’s fault. He can only control what he does wherever he and his team go. He has proven to be a winner.
Garza also spoke about the postseason. The Shockers are No. 60 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings and will most likely win the Missouri Valley Conference title. However, if Garza wants to guarantee himself a trip to the Honors Course, site of the NCAA Championship, he knows he and his team need to play well at regionals.
“If you don’t have a team behind you it’s tough,” Garza said. “As a mid-major team there is pressure to step up, but I believe in my teammates.”
It is clear that Garza is determined to earn a trip to nationals. It’s just another reason he truly is a winner.