Haskins Award Watch List: Feb. 24, 2017

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Haskins Award Watch List: Feb. 24, 2017

College

Haskins Award Watch List: Feb. 24, 2017

Two players are distancing themselves in the race for the 2017 Haskins Award Presented by Stifel, while a freshman is making a charge after joining his team this spring.

Oregon senior Wyndham Clark and LSU sophomore Sam Burns have continued their stellar play this spring, and are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the watch list. Clark’s teammate Norman Xiong has cracked the top 5, too, as he’s won once and notched nothing worse than T-7 in three starts since joining the Ducks this spring.

The Haskins Award is given annually to the best college player, as voted by players, coaches and media. Haskins Award winners over the years include such notable future professionals as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan.

Here are my current top candidates for the 2017 Haskins Award:

• • •

1. Wyndham Clark

  • Year: Senior
  • School: Oregon
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 1
  • Results: Won, Arizona Intercollegiate; T-1, Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate; second, Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational; T-3, Paintbrush Intercollegiate; T-6, East Lake Cup (stroke play); T-10, Amer Ari Invitational; 2-0 in East Lake Cup match play
  • The buzz: Clark regained the top spot in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings while keeping his place atop the Haskins watch list. Clark’s latest win, a co-victory with teammate Norman Xiong at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate, gives him two for the year. He also has yet finish outside the top 10 in six starts this season.

• • •

2. Sam Burns

  • Year: Sophomore
  • School: LSU
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 2
  • Results: Won, Western Refining College All-America Classic; T-1, David Toms Intercollegiate; second, The Prestige at PGA West; second, Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic; T-6, Carpet Capital Collegiate; eighth, Maui Jim Intercollegiate; T-9, Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate
  • The buzz: Burns is very close to overtaking Clark for the No. 1 spot. He has as many victories and hasn’t finished worse than T-9 in seven events.

• • •

3. Norman Xiong

  • Year: Freshman
  • School: Oregon
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 3
  • Results: T-1, Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate; fourth, Arizona Intercollegiate; T-7, Amer Ari Invitational
  • The buzz: Yes, the freshman joined the Ducks this spring and has played just three events, but that’s just two fewer than most of these Haskins contenders and you can’t argue with the results – nothing worse than T-7.

• • •

4. Chandler Phillips

  • Year: Sophomore
  • School: Texas A&M
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 6
  • Results: Won, John Burns Intercollegiate; T-1, Golfweek Conference Challenge; second, Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate; T-4, Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate; T-9, Arizona Intercollegiate; T-17, OFCC Fighting Illini Invitational
  • The buzz: His win at the John Burns was his second of the year, and other than a T-17 against a stout Olympia Fields field, Phillips hasn’t finished worse than T-9.

• • •

5. Maverick McNealy

  • Year: Senior
  • School: Stanford
  • Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 4
  • Results: Won, Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational; third, Gifford Collegiate (stroke play); fourth, Amer Ari Invitational; T-18, The Prestige at PGA West; T-29, Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate
  • The buzz: The 2015 Haskins winner is still stuck on 11 career victories and couldn’t build off an opening 68 at PGA West. Expect a better result McNealy’s next time out, at Southern Highlands.

• • •

Next 5

  • Matthias Schwab, Sr., Vanderbilt (10)
  • Sean Crocker, Jr., USC (8)
  • Rico Hoey, Sr., USC (9)
  • Alejandro Tosti, Jr., Florida (11)
  • Jimmy Stanger, Sr., Virginia (13)

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