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April 16, 2014 | 2:48 p.m.

Ben Hogan Award semifinalists announced

Cassie Stein
Georgia Tech's Ollie Schniederjans
Georgia Tech's Ollie Schniederjans

The 10 semifinalists for the 2014 Ben Hogan Award were announced Wednesday.

The Ben Hogan Award is presented annually to the top men’s NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA, NJCAA college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competition over a 12-month span.

In order of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking:

• 1. Joey Garber, Georgia, senior

• 2. Robby Shelton, Alabama, freshman

• 3. Patrick Rodgers, Stanford, junior

• 4. Ollie Schniederjans, Georgia Tech, junior

• 5. Cameron Wilson, Stanford, senior

• 6. Brandon Hagy, California, senior

• 9. Greg Eason, Central Florida, senior

• 11. Bobby Wyatt, Alabama, senior

• 19. Bryson Dechambeau, SMU ...

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Categories: Blog U., Cassie Stein, College, Men
Cassie Stein
Oliver Goss has moved into the top 10 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings after his T-49 finish at the 2014 Masters.
Oliver Goss has moved into the top 10 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings after his T-49 finish at the 2014 Masters.

Oliver Goss, who earned low amateur honors at the Masters on April 13, cracked the top 10 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking on Wednesday.

Goss, a sophomore at Tennessee, moved up four places in the rankings as he was only one of six amateurs to make the cut at Augusta National. He finished T-49.

Other amateurs at the Masters: Matt Fitzpatrick remained second behind world No. 1 Patrick Rodgers. Chang-woo Lee stayed in fifth. Garrick Porteous moved to the professional ranks after missing the cut in Augusta. Niebrugge, who shot 81-74, dropped out of the top 10. He is ...

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Julie Williams
A view of the 16th hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club.
A view of the 16th hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – A bright cobalt letterman’s jacket hangs in the golf office at San Jose State, but only until April each year. It comes off the hanger then to wait for its wearer at Pasatiempo Golf Club.

A letterman’s jacket, head coach John Kennaday reasons, is the quintessential symbol of college athletics. In early April, the green jacket is the quintessential sign of golf. Since the TransAmerica/WFG Western Intercollegiate and the Masters share the same dates, on Alister Mackenzie layouts separated by thousands of miles, Kennaday thought it the perfect tribute to the Western winner.

“It ...

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Cassie Stein
Cal's Brandon Hagy
Cal's Brandon Hagy

The Golf Coaches Association of America announced the five finalists of the 2014 Byron Nelson Award April 8.

The finalists are California teammates Brandon Hagy and Joel Stalter, Northwestern’s Jack Perry, Alabama’s Cory Whitsett and Stanford’s Cameron Wilson.

The requirement for the Nelson Award is that it is a graduating senior from their respective university. The selection committee also considers an entire collegiate academic and golf career as well as character and integrity.

The winner will be named May 1.

Brentley Romine
Florida junior Eric Banks won the 2014 David Toms Award.
Florida junior Eric Banks won the 2014 David Toms Award.

It has taken some time, but Eric Banks is finally feeling more comfortable on the golf course.

Banks, a junior at Florida, is almost two years removed from open-heart surgery in June of 2012 and just more than a year into his return to college golf.

"I was a little nervous when I first returned (last spring)," Banks said. "I've been a little protective (of my chest), especially through impact, but my backswing has gotten longer and I'm swinging faster. It's nice to not have to be so worried, and I feel a lot more comfortable."

• Click ...

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Brentley Romine
Oliver Goss, a sophomore at the University of Tennessee and the 2013 U.S. Amateur runner-up, will be one of six amateurs competing in the 2014 Masters.
Oliver Goss, a sophomore at the University of Tennessee and the 2013 U.S. Amateur runner-up, will be one of six amateurs competing in the 2014 Masters.

Six amateurs will compete in the 2014 Masters, all of them making their first start at Augusta National.

Here is a closer look at each of the six amateur participants:

• • •

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Age: 19

Hometown: Sheffield, England

How he qualified: U.S. Amateur champion

Buzz: Fitzpatrick first made major headlines when he qualified for last year's Open Championship and earned low-amateur honors at Muirfield. He then won the U.S. Amateur title later that summer before beginning his freshman year at Northwestern. His college career was short-lived, however, as he spent just one semester at Northwestern. Fitzpatrick, who plans ...

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Julie Williams
Georgia sophomore Manuela Carbajo Re
Georgia sophomore Manuela Carbajo Re

Josh Brewer had decided to transform the Liz Murphey Collegiate even before the final word came out last fall that the NCAA Women’s Championship would transition to match play in 2015. Brewer, head women’s coach at Georgia, was looking for a way to make the Bulldogs’ home event, one of the longest-running women’s events on the East Coast, look a little different in its 42nd year. The result is a high-stakes, late-season battle among some of the nation’s top teams for trophy, pride and, ultimately, ranking.

In place of a traditional 54-hole stroke-play event, Brewer has ...

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Cassie Stein
Russell Henley is one of four former Georgia Bulldogs to have earned more than $1.2 million on the PGA Tour this season.
Russell Henley is one of four former Georgia Bulldogs to have earned more than $1.2 million on the PGA Tour this season.

The Rivals Cup is a website that promotes college affiliations of pro athletes by ranking NCAA programs and seeing what university is having the biggest impact in pro sports.

In order for a player to qualify for the Rivals Cup, the athlete must have played at their respective school for a minimum of one year and recorded earnings in the prior year on the PGA Tour (in this case in 2013).

The earnings are based on the 2013-14 PGA Tour wraparound season.

Currently, the Georgia Bulldogs have made the most money on the PGA Tour through the 2014 Valero Texas ...

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March 31, 2014 | 11:36 a.m.

Player diary: Alabama's Emma Talley (Part 8)

Emma Talley
Emma Talley
Emma Talley

Hey Y’all

A lot of things have happened since last time. My play in Hilton Head was a little rough again, but I learned a lot about my game. Right after the tournament, I found out I was selected to be on this year’s Curtis Cup. The news I got was so exciting! I cannot wait for the opportunity to play for my country. My past experiences playing for the USA have been incredible and I know this will be nothing but amazing. To be picked with the group of girls that got chosen is an honor in ...

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Golfweek Staff
Ron Balicki (center) with several Golfweek staffers current and past -- Asher Wildman (from left), Lance Ringler, Jay Coffin and Eric Soderstrom -- getting into the spirit of the 2007 NCAA Championship in Williamsburg, Va.
Ron Balicki (center) with several Golfweek staffers current and past -- Asher Wildman (from left), Lance Ringler, Jay Coffin and Eric Soderstrom -- getting into the spirit of the 2007 NCAA Championship in Williamsburg, Va.

Longtime college and amateur writer Ron Balicki passed away Tuesday at the age of 65. His mark will be left on both the golf community as a whole, but also on our current staff, which learned a lot from the big-hearted veteran.

Here are some words and memories from staffers who worked closely with Balicki:

• • •

Lance Ringler, Golfweek assistant editor

I will never forget the first time I spoke with Ron Balicki. It was actually on a conference call. I was on one end, trying to introduce a new ranking system for college golf to the biggest media figure the ...

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Joel Stalter
California senior Joel Stalter
California senior Joel Stalter

The last two weeks have been pretty hectic for the Golden Bears, competing in the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters and last week in Tucson, Ariz., for the National Invitational Tournament. On top of that, most of us had midterms and projects due, which kept us very busy on the road.

UNLV’s tournament is definitely one of the most prestigious events and arguably one of the best fields we see all year. It is a fantastic test of golf and a great opportunity to compete with some of the best amateurs in the world.

The vibe was a bit different ...

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Categories: Blog U., College, Men, Cal Bears
March 23, 2014 | 8:56 p.m.

Arizona State leads salute to Ron Balicki

Andy Zunz
Arizona State players pinned a green ribbon to their hats in honor of Ron Balicki, who is battling cancer.
Arizona State players pinned a green ribbon to their hats in honor of Ron Balicki, who is battling cancer.

Tim Mickelson was only an 11-year-old kid in 1988, but he couldn't help but be intimidated by Ron Balicki.

"My biggest memory of him was that he was a damn tall guy and he was skinny," Mickelson, the head coach at Arizona State, said with a laugh.

"A tall, skinny guy that, for whatever reason, intimidated me. It was his height (around 6 feet 3 inches), not his intimidation factor, but I remember him being a very friendly guy that was always at the big tournaments Phil (Mickelson) was playing in, and he was the only one. He was ...

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Todd Eckstein
Todd Eckstein
Todd Eckstein

When I was in seventh grade, we had a rather tedious project for geometry: build a structure with toothpicks and marshmallows that could support a baseball. I thought I had built myself a great little contraption, but it only worked if you put the baseball on at a certain angle. Knowing my teacher would test it in as many ways as possible, I spent an hour adding several awkwardly-placed supports that eventually didn’t work, meaning I had to deconstruct and start over after wasting an hour trying to salvage a faulty design.

I learned in that moment that “band-aid ...

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Andy Zunz
Fanny Cnops, shown at the UCF Challenge, earned a sponsor exemption to the Symetra Tour's IOA Golf Classic.
Fanny Cnops, shown at the UCF Challenge, earned a sponsor exemption to the Symetra Tour's IOA Golf Classic.

Fanny Cnops has earned her spot as the top golfer for Central Florida this spring, posting three top-three finishes in as many tournaments. Her nine rounds of par or better, 71.7 stroke average and win at the UCF Challenge lead the team.

Her performance on the course has helped her gain the right kind of attention, as she earned a sponsor exemption to the Symetra Tour's IOA Golf Classic at Alaqua Country Club in Longwood, Fla. The tournament, which is a half-hour drive away from the UCF campus, will be played March 28-30.

Cnops and Alabama commit Nicole ...

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Cassie Stein
Robert Morris sophomore Halley Morell tees off on No. 8 at LPGA International during the Lonnie Barton Invitational.
Robert Morris sophomore Halley Morell tees off on No. 8 at LPGA International during the Lonnie Barton Invitational.

Editor’s note: Cassie Stein graduated from Robert Morris in 2012 and played on the golf team from 2008 to 2010.

• • •

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Wiping away tears, Robert Morris head coach Jerry Stone found it hard to talk about the school's women’s golf team, which will disband at the end of the spring season.

It was hard for me to hear it. It’s almost like it wasn’t true until hearing it in person.

In December, the women’s team and six other programs at Robert Morris had a meeting with athletic director Craig Coleman and university ...

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