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Three Finalists Named for Ben Hogan Award
California's Michael Kim, TCU's Julien Brun and the University of Washington's Chris Williams are finalists for the 2013 Ben Hogan Award, which honors the top American collegiate golfer of the year.
The winner will be crowned May 20 during a black-tie banquet at Colonial Country Club the week of the PGA Tour's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. The keynote speaker at the ceremony is Corey Pavin, a two-time Colonial winner, 1995 U.S. Open champion and former U.S. Ryder Cup team captain and player.
In addition to receiving college golf's highest honor, the winner will receive an exemption to the 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, as well as earn a grant for his school's men's golf scholarship program.
Last year, Patrick Cantlay won the award, with his school, UCLA, receiving a $20,000 grant. The other finalists' schools each received $10,000 grants.
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 12-month period dating from the previous award's banquet. The Ben Hogan Award selection committee is made up of 23 leaders and experts in amateur, college and professional golf. Williams is the.
Williams, the third finalist from the University of Washington - joining Brock Mackenzie (2004) and 2010 Hogan winner Nick Taylor, is the world's No.1-ranked amateur in both the World Amateur Golf and the Scratch Players World rankings. He was the 2012 recipient of the Mark H. McMormack Medal as the world's top-ranked amateur, giving him automatic berths in the 2013 U.S. Open and the Open Championship. The native of Moscow, Idaho, swept the 2012 Western Amateur match play and stroke play titles. He also advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur last summer.
Brun, a native of France and a sophomore for the Horned Frogs, has enjoyed numerous international highlights. He became only the sixth amateur ever to win an event on the European Challenge Tour last fall with a victory at the 2012 ALLIANZ Open Toulouse in his home country before finishing fourth individually at the World Amateur Team Championship in Turkey. Brun also aided a monumental comeback by Team Europe during its victory over the United States to claim the 2012 Palmer Cup in Scotland. He has climbed as high as No. 3 in the R&A World Amateur Rankings and currently sits at No. 4.
Brun is only the third international student-athlete to be named a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award since 2008 and the first European finalist since Indiana's Jorge Campillo in 2009. He joins former Horned Frog Adam Rubinson as the only TCU golfers ever named a semifinalist last season and is the school's first two-time semifinalist.
Kim is Cal's first Ben Hogan finalist. He's a key member of the No. 1-ranked Golden Bears' team that won 10 of the school's first 12 tournaments this year, which ties the unofficial all-time single-season NCAA victory record previously established by Oklahoma State in 1985-86. Kim has held his current No. 1 national ranking for much of the spring.
In addition to being a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award, Kim is currently listed on top of the watch list for the Haskins Award given annually to the nation's top collegiate player by Golfweek. Kim also became the first Cal player to ever win Pac-12 Player of the Year honors, and has picked up individual medalist honors a school-record four times during the 2012-13 collegiate season, winning the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational and Fresno State Lexus Classic. Kim finished in the top 10 in 10 of 12 tournaments in 2012-13 and earned a spot in the 2013 Palmer Cup by being the top-ranked player for Team USA in the Palmer Cup Ranking.
"It is an awesome feeling," Kim said. "Being a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award means a lot to me. It looks at your whole year of work, which makes it an award that is even more special. I'm really proud of it and feel fortunate to be one of the finalists along with two other great golfers."
For more about the Ben Hogan Award, visit http://thebenhoganaward.org.