Washington's Nick Taylor Wins Prestigious Ben Hogan Award
May 25, 2010
-courtesy of gohuskies.com-
DALLAS, Texas - Nick Taylor made Husky golf history on Monday when he was announced as the winner of the 2010 Ben Hogan Award at Colonial Country Club in Dallas, Texas. Taylor is the first Washington Husky golfer to win college golf's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. He is also only the second Pac-10 golfer to win the award, after Arizona's Ricky Barnes won the award as a co-recipient in 2003.
'I didn't really expect this,' Taylor told the audience at Colonial Country Club moments after receiving the award. 'Growing up in small town Abbottsford, Canada golf is not the first sport you think of. It's always hockey. When I chose golf, I dedicated to it and I was determined to play well and it started all the way from junior golf all the way up to playing at the University of Washington. It's just been a ride that I've enjoyed with my team at Washington.'
The Hogan Award, which was first awarded in 1990, may be the pinnacle of an already illustrious career for Taylor. The Hogan 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 a 12-month period.
'What an amazing way to cap off a historic career at Washington,' said Washington head coach Matt Thurmond, who travelled with Taylor to Dallas. 'Having his name attached to Mr. Hogan is certainly fitting and appropriate. He deserves any and every award he gets. He is an amazing player, person, and teammate. I suspect many more awards await him.'
A native of Abbotsford, B.C., Taylor was named Pac-10 Co-Golfer of the Year for the second straight season. He is the only Husky to ever win the conference's nod as the top player and is just the fifth golfer in the league's history to win multiple times.
Taylor had another stellar collegiate season and led the Huskies in multiple categories. He was a top-10 finisher in 9 of 12 events and has a team-best scoring average of 70.89. His stroke average is the second-lowest in team history.
During the summer, after finishing tied for ninth at last year's NCAA Championships, he was low amateur at the U.S. Open where he tied for 36th. He spent 21 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings (June 15-Nov. 4, 2009) after ascending to the top spot after winning the U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Suncadia's Tumble Creek.
Taylor also won the Sahalee Players Championship and earned medalist honors at the U.S Amateur Public Links before advancing to the championship match. In addition, he finished in the top 10 at the Canadian Amateur (T-3rd) and Copa de las Americas (8th) before tying for 34th at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational.
Currently, Taylor occupies the top spot in the Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR). The two-time First Team PING All-American also has the 2009 Mark H McCormack Medal in his trophy case. The medal recognizes the top-ranked golfer in the Royal and Ancient's World Amateur Golf Ranking at the end of each amateur season and following the European and U.S. Amateur Championships.
Taylor is fresh off a 19th-place individual finish at Gold Mountain Golf Course on Saturday. Although he didn't fare as well as he has become accustomed to in his four-year career, Washington still had a historic weekend. The team claimed its second-ever NCAA Regional team title and can now boast its first-ever individual medalist in Richard Lee.
Taylor and the Huskies will hope to accomplish another UW first starting June 1 when they begin their quest for the NCAA Team Championship at the Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Huskies will be among 30 teams and six individuals competing in three days of stroke play with the top eight teams advancing to match play action to determine the NCAA Team Champion.
The state of Washington has boasted two previous Hogan Award winners: Ryan Moore (UNLV) in 2005 and Kyle Stanley (Clemson) in 2009.