In his second trip to Fort Worth as a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award, Stanford golfer Patrick Rodgers walked away with a significant souvenir that eluded him two years ago.The wait made Sunday night’s announcement sweeter for Rodgers, a junior who collected the 2014 Ben Hogan Award during a ceremony at Colonial Country Club. The honor is given annually to the nation’s top college golfer in conjunction with tournament week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.Rodgers, the top-ranked player in both the World Amateur Golf Ranking and the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking, separated himself from fellow finalists Cameron Wilson (Stanford) and Ollie Schniederjans (Georgia Tech) in the estimation of selection committee members with a sizzling finish to his college season.Rodgers, the medalist at Saturday’s NCAA regional tournament in Eugene, Ore., has won six college events this season, allowing him to match Tiger Woods’ career mark for tournament victories (11) by a Stanford golfer. Rodgers posted a 6-under 204 total at the 54-hole tournament, winning by six strokes.In his last six college events, Rodgers has five victories and one runner-up finish. His season scoring average is 69.55.“Any time your name is mentioned in the same breath with Mr. Hogan or Tiger Woods, it’s something very special,” said Rodgers, a Hogan Award finalist as a freshman in 2012. “It’s such an honor to come back here for the second time because this is the most prestigious award in collegiate and amateur golf.“To be linked with Mr. Hogan, he’s such an iconic figure. Not just in golf, but in sports. He symbolizes what it means to work hard and have a disciplined approach. To really be the ultimate professional.”The Hogan Award is given each year to the top men’s college golfer (from all divisions, including junior colleges) who also has excelled in amateur competitions during the past 12 months. Rodgers, a native of Avon, Ind., became the first Stanford golfer to win the award.All three finalists took part in Sunday’s live presentation ceremony. As the Hogan Award recipient, Rodgers receives an exemption into the 2015 Colonial tournament. Scholarship grants were presented to the universities of each finalist.Wilson, who hopes to join Rodgers in leading Stanford to a national title at next week’s NCAA tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., praised the performance of his teammate this season.“Having a player of Patrick’s caliber is an asset to any team,” Wilson said. “He’s a huge part of our success.”Rodgers became the third consecutive golfer from the Pac-12 to claim the Hogan Award, as well as the fourth in the past five years.
Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @Jimmy_Burch