The third time was the charm for Stanford’s Maverick McNealy as the senior claimed the Ben Hogan Award after being named a finalist the previous two years.
McNealy earned the honor, given to the top college golfer based on his play in the last year in both college and amateur competitions, in a black-tie dinner Monday night at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.
McNealy had lost to Jon Rahm the past two years. This time around he earned the distinction over Oregon’s Wyndham Clark and Illinois’s Dylan Meyer. During the 2016-’17 season, McNealy has a 69.72 stroke average with nine top-20 finishes in 10 starts, including six top-five showings. His lone win came at Colonial last fall when he was medalist at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational. It was his 11th career college victory, equaling the school mark held by Tiger Woods and Patrick Rodgers.
Among the spoils of winning the honor is an exemption into next year’s Dean & Deluca Invitational at Colonial. The question remains, however, whether McNealy will be playing as a professional at that time or whether he’ll have decided instead to forgo tour life to go into the business world. McNealy has still yet to determine his future beyond accepting exemptions into next month’s U.S. Open and the British Open in July (based off being the No. 1 ranked amateur at the end of last summer) and likely competing for the U.S. at the 2017 Walker Cup.
It’s the sixth straight year that a golfer from the Pac-12 conference has won the honor.