Idle weeks don't drop Kim on Haskins Watch List

Cal freshman Michael Kim takes a large divot as he hits his approach on No. 18 at the Golfweek Conference Challenge.

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College golf is a team game in an individual sport. That's why an individual honor such as the Haskins Award is so important. An NCAA Championship is everyone's goal, but most college players have one eye on professional golf, as well.

Winning the Haskins Award puts players on the same list as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange, Justin Leonard, David Duval, Stewart Cink, Jay Haas, Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan.

Here’s our fourth spring edition of the Haskins Watch List, which takes a look at some of the favorites for this season's award.

Cal’s Michael Kim has established himself as the favorite to win this year’s award, but he has a handful of players nipping at his heels. It's important to note that players not on the list are not excluded from consideration. Anyone can jump into contention. The Haskins Award is eventually decided by voting from fans, media and coaches.

Here's a look at some of the favorites:

• • •

1. Michael Kim, Cal sophomore

Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking: 1

Golfstat Cup: 1

Last Haskins List rank: 1

Events: 9

Wins: Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Arizona Intercollegiate, Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic, Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters

Top-10s: 9

Top-5s: 6

Worst finish: T-10, Ping-Golfweek Preview

Last finish: T-1, Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters

The skinny: Kim and the Cal Bears haven’t played since the last Haskins Watch List was released, but he’s still the favorite to earn the award.

• • •

2. Patrick Rodgers, Stanford sophomore

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Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking: 9

Golfstat Cup: 13

Events: 8

Last Haskins List rank: 2

Wins: Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational, U.S. Collegiate, Southern Highlands Collegiate Invitational

Top-10s: 4

Top-5s: 3

Worst finish: T-49, Amer Ari Invitational

Last finish: 1st, Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters

The skinny: Rodgers’ home event – the U.S. Intercollegiate – started Thursday. It seems like a good opportunity to add another high finish to his resume. That event is followed by his title defense at the Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo.

• • •

3. Albin Choi, North Carolina State junior

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Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking: 13

Golfstat Cup: 6

Last Haskins List rank: 3

Events: 9

Wins: Tar Heel Intercollegiate, Warrior Wave Intercollegiate, Puerto Rico Classic, USF Invitational

Top-10s: 8

Top-5s: 6

Worst finish: T-20 Rod Myers Invitational

Last finish: T-3, Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate

The skinny: No wins for Choi in his past two starts: a T-6 at the Palmetto Intercollegiate and T-3 at the Hootie at Bulls Bay, where bogeys on three of his past five holes cost him a fifth win of the season. Choi had won three starts in a row before these two events.

• • •

4. Julien Brun, TCU sophomore

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Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking: 6

Golfstat Cup: 2

Last Haskins List rank: 7

Events: 8

Wins: Carmel Cup; Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate; National Invitational Tournament

Top-10s: 6

Top-5s: 4

Worst finish: T-21, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational

Last finish: Won, National Invitational Tournament

The skinny: Brun has now won three titles in each of his first two seasons at TCU. He was a first-team All-American last year at TCU, including a runner-up at the NCAA Championship.

• • •

5. Joel Stalter, Cal junior

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Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking: 4

Golfstat Cup: 3

Last Haskins List rank: 4

Events: 7

Wins: Arizona Intercollegiate; John Burns Intercollegiate

Top-10s: 5

Top-5s: 3

Worst finish: T-40, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational

Last finish: T-11, Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters

The skinny: Like Kim, Stalter hasn’t played since the last Haskins Watch List.

• • •

6. Brandon Stone, Texas freshman

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Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking: 2

Golfstat Cup: 5

Last Haskins List rank: 5

Events: 7

Wins: Carpet Capital Collegiate; Bayou City Collegiate

Top-10s: 4

Top-5s: 4

Worst finish: T-36, Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters

Last finish: 2nd, Schenkel Invitational

The skinny: A runner-up finish to fellow Haskins Award candidate Justin Thomas at the Schenkel helped Stone’s candidacy.

• • •

7. Daniel Berger, Florida State sophomore

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Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking: 5

Golfstat Cup: 4

Last Haskins List rank: 6

Events: 7

Wins: Gator Invitational; Seminole Intercollegiate

Top-10s: 5

Top-5s: 5

Worst finish: T-25, C&F Bank Intercollegiate

Last finish: T-25, C&F Bank Intercollegiate

The skinny: Berger was hurt by the fact that the C&F Bank Intercollegiate was shortened to 18 holes because of ... snow. Yes, snow.

• • •

8. Justin Thomas, Alabama sophomore

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Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking: 7

Golfstat Cup: 16

Last Haskins List rank: NR

Events: 9

Wins: Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate; Schenkel Invitational

Top-10s: 5

Top-5s: 3

Worst finish: T-39, Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters

Last finish: T-10, Linger Longer Invitational

The skinny: His victory at the Schenkel Invitational returned last year’s Haskins Award winner into contention for this year’s honor.

• • •

9. Cory Whitsett, Alabama junior

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Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking: 8

Golfstat Cup: 22

Last Haskins List rank: NR

Events: 9

Wins: Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters; Linger Longer Invitational

Top-10s: 6

Top-5s: 4

Worst finish: T-43, Ping-Golfweek Preview

Last finish: Won, Linger Longer Invitational

The skinny: Few players are having a better spring than Whitsett, who’s finished no worse than seventh in four starts, including two wins and a runner-up.

• • •

10. Cheng-Tsung Pan, Washington sophomore

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Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking: 10

Golfstat Cup: 9

Last Haskins List rank: 8

Events: 8

Wins: Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational

Top-10s: 7

Top-5s: 4

Worst finish: T-39, Bandon Dunes Championship

Last finish: T-6, Duck Invitational

The skinny: Pan collected a top-10 at the Duck Invitational, but he hasn’t won since his first event of the season. He finished in the top-3 in his first four starts, but has now gone four starts without a top-5.

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