Dechambeau Named To Ben Hogan Award Watch List
Feb. 5, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas (SMU) - SMU sophomore Bryson Dechambeau has been named to the Ben Hogan Award Watch List, the Colonial Country Club, The Friends of Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America announced on Wednesday. The honor is given annually to the most outstanding collegiate amateur golfer of the year.
The most prestigious award in men’s college golf, the Ben Hogan Award is presented annually to the top men’s NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or NJCAA college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during the past 12-month period. The Ben Hogan Award Selection Committee, which votes during each stage of the process, is comprised of leaders in professional, amateur and collegiate golf.
“This is the most prestigious award in college and amateur golf,” SMU Head Coach Josh Gregory said. “First of all, he is very deserving of being named to the Ben Hogan watch list. I have never coached anyone with a better work ethic and someone who is this committed to becoming his best. I know this will motivate him even more to continue to get better, and when he adds a few wins to his resume he will hopefully have a great chance to win this award.”
Dechambeau is currently ranked 16th in the world according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking. The Clovis, Calif., native finished in the top five in all four tournaments he played in the fall, including three third-place results. Last season, Dechambeau tallied five top-five finishes and six top-10 results, including a runner-up effort at the Conference USA Championships. He also won two events over the summer, including the Trans-Mississippi Championships and the U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Schaffer’s Mill. Dechambeau ended up advancing to the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur Championships after placing sixth during stroke play.
The sophomore is no stranger to honors, as he earned PING All-Central Region recognition last season, as well as receiving First Team All-C-USA, C-USA Freshman of the Year and All-Freshman team honors.
Gregory finds it very fitting that Dechambeau’s name is included on the watch list, for more reasons than just his performance.
“His two idols were Payne Stewart and Ben Hogan,” Gregory said of Dechambeau. “He patterned a lot of what he knows about his golf swing from Ben Hogan and even wears the same hat as both Stewart and Hogan. We are extremely proud to have him represent SMU for this outstanding honor.”
The legacy of the hat is well known. Stewart, who won a Southwest Conference title and was a second team All-American at SMU, went on to win 24 professional titles, including two U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship. Hogan won 68 pro titles, including nine major titles from 1946-53.
Dechambeau the third SMU golfer to be named to the Ben Hogan watch list. Kelly Kraft was named in 2010 and Colt Knost was a semifinalist in 2007. Dechambeau is one of just five sophomores out of the 30 total players on the list. Three players from the American Athletic Conference are on the list, with Dechambeau joining Greg Eason of UCF and Chase Koepka of USF.
A list of 10 semifinalists, which could include individuals not named on the watch list, will be released on April 16. Three finalists will then be chosen on May 7, and the winner will be announced at a black-tie banquet at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 18, prior to the start of the PGA Tour’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at the Colonial.
More information on the award can be found at www.TheBenHoganAward.org.