When it comes to victories, no Division I men’s college golfer had more this season than Ole Miss sophomore Braden Thornberry.
Thornberry, a native of Olive Branch, Miss., won five times in 2016-17, and capped his season with the most impressive victory of all, winning the individual title at the NCAA Championship at Rich Harvest Farms. (Through two seasons, Thornberry has seven career victories, tied with Dave Peege for the most in school history.)
He also led the country in scoring average (69.57) and was named a Ping first-team All-American.
On Wednesday, Thornberry added another honor to his impressive resume this season – the 2017 Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel. The Haskins Award is given annually to the best college player, as voted by players, coaches and media, and Thornberry was announced as the winner live on Golf Channel.
Thornberry couldn’t be in the Orlando, Fla., studio to accept his award because he is competing in this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, which will be his first PGA Tour start. Instead, he received the award at TPC Southwind.
“It means a lot,” Thornberry said. “You do what you can control with the wins, but to have enough respect from your peers and coaches to vote you and see your game as that high, that means a lot to kind of validate the hard work all season.”
Haskins Award winners over the years include such notable future professionals as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan. Ben Crenshaw, a three-time Haskins winner, won the inaugural award in 1971.
Texas’ Beau Hossler won the 2016 Haskins Award, beating out Arizona State’s Jon Rahm and Stanford’s Maverick McNealy, the 2015 Haskins winner.
This year’s other finalists were Oregon senior Wyndham Clark and LSU sophomore Sam Burns, who finished the season ranked first and second in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, respectively. Thornberry ranked third.
Also, for winning the Haskins, Thornberry will receive an invite to play in The Greenbrier Classic in July.