Tops of their class
Forty different players have won the Fred Haskins Award as top college golfer. It's time to sort them out.
June 29, 2015
By Helen Ross , PGATOUR.COM
Each year, the winner of the Fred Haskins Award -- recognizing the most outstanding collegiate golfer in the country -- receives an exemption into The Greenbrier Classic.
That's why you'll see Stanford's Maverick McNealy, the 2015 winner, in the field this week. In fact, he's one of 10 players at Greenbrier playing this week who have won the Fred Haskins Award.
The award made its debut in 1971 when then-sophomore Ben Crenshaw from Texas was the recipient. Crenshaw would also win the award the next two years before beginning his World Golf Hall of Fame career.
A popular vote among Division I golfers, coaches, select golf writers and past Haskins Award winners determines the recipient each year.
Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know about the Fred Haskins Award, starting with our list of the top 10 players who have received the award.
TOP 10 HASKINS AWARD WINNERS
Rankings are purely subjective and based on the player's accomplishments after leaving college and turning pro
1. Tiger Woods (Stanford). He will go down as one of the two best players of all-time -- and arguably, the best. Woods comes to The Greenbrier with 79 PGA TOUR wins, including 14 majors but still trying to reconstruct his swing for the fourth time.
2. Phil Mickelson (Arizona State). Perhaps the best-loved player of his generation, Mickelson has 42 victories, including three legs of the career Grand Slam and five majors total. He picked up the third when he won the 2013 Open Championship a month after finishing second at the U.S. Open for the record sixth time.
3. Ben Crenshaw (Texas). The Texan, who won the first three Haskins Awards coinciding with his three straight NCAA titles, counts two Masters titles among his 19 TOUR wins. One of the game's most renown historians, Crenshaw has turned to course design work in recent years with Bill Coore.
4. Curtis Strange (Wake Forest). The last of his 17 wins on TOUR was the 1989 U.S. Open, a successful defense of his first major championship he won the previous year. Strange tied for 21st in the 1990 U.S. Open as he attempted to become the first player to win the major three straight years.
5. David Duval (Georgia Tech). Duval broke through in a big way in 1997, winning the final three events of the season, and eventually won 13 times, including the 2001 Open Championship, in a five-year span as he rose to world No. 1. He has battled back and swing issues of late while embracing a growing family and dabbling in TV work.
6. Luke Donald (Northwestern). The Englishman has 17 worldwide wins, including five on the PGA TOUR, and eventually spent 56 weeks as the world No. 1. Donald's most recent win was at the 2012 Transitions Championship but he's posted 16 top-10s since while working through some swing changes.
7. Justin Leonard (Texas). The Dallas native was one of the TOUR's most feared competitors in his prime, winning 12 times in a 12-year span and playing on five Presidents Cup and three Ryder Cup teams. His lone major win was the 1997 Open Championship.
8. Scott Simpson (Southern Cal). The soft-spoken Simpson counts the 1987 U.S. Open among his seven TOUR victories. He narrowly missed another U.S. Open in 1991 when he lost an 18-hole playoff at Payne Stewart at Hazeltine National.
9. Jay Haas (Wake Forest). Haas, who played on the same Wake Forest team with Curtis Strange, won nine times on the PGA TOUR and 17 on the Champions Tour. Haas played on two Presidents Cup teams and is the U.S. Captain this year.
10. Matt Kuchar (Georgia Tech). Kuchar will certainly go down as one of the most consistent players in TOUR history. A seven-time winner, he has 71 top-10 finishes in his first 342 TOUR starts.
WHO WAS FRED HASKINS?
Haskins was born in Hoylake, England, where his family lived behind a sporting goods store that did a brisk trade in golf clubs. He later moved to the United States after serving as a machine gunner in World War I and among his early jobs were tarring roofs, cutting hair and working in the import-export business.
Golf, though was Haskins' true love. He worked at clubs in New York and Michigan before finding his way to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta in 1919. He worked as an assistant to Bobby Jones' instructor there, and it was Jones who recommended Haskins to the Country Club of Columbus (Ga.) when the club was looking for a head professional in 1922.
Haskins worked at the Country Club of Columbus for 34 years where he taught lessons on Saturday morning for a nickel. His students went on to win more than 150 collegiate and amateur tournaments. Haskins, who died in 1981, was the guiding force behind the Southeastern Amateur, founded in 1922.
HASKINS AWARD FACTS & FIGURES
How many winners have there been? There have been 40 different winners in the 45-year history of the Fred Haskins Award. Arizona State's Phil Mickelson (1990-92) and Texas' Ben Crenshaw (1971-73) won it three times each while Bobby Clampett of Brigham Young won it twice (1979-80).
Haskins Award winners playing in 2015 Greenbrier: Maverick McNealy, Patrick Rodgers, Justin Thomas, Russell Henley, Kevin Chappell, Bill Haas, Bryce Molder, Charles Howell III, Tiger Woods and Justin Leonard.
Father-son Haskins winners: Jay Haas (1975) and Bill Haas (2004).
Haskins winners ranked world No. 1: Tiger Woods (683 weeks), Luke Donald (56 weeks) and David Duval (15 weeks)
Haskins winners who have won the FedExCup: Tiger Woods (2007, '09) and Bill Haas (2011)
Colleges represented: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State (4), Brigham Young, California, Florida, Furman, Georgia, Georgia Tech (4), Oklahoma State (7), North Carolina, N.C. State, Northwestern, Southern Cal (3), Stanford (3), Texas (6), University of Alabama-Birmingham, UCLA (2), UNLV, Wake Forest (3).
Major winners: 29 total (Tiger Woods, 14; Phil Mickelson, 5; Curtis Strange and Ben Crenshaw 2 each; and Scott Simpson, Bob Tway, Justin Leonard, David Duval, Graeme McDowell and Stewart Cink, 1 each)
Presidents Cup appearances: 42 (Phil Mickelson leads with 10)
Ryder Cup appearances: 46 (Phil Mickelson leads with 10)
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
A look at five Haskins Award winners from the early years
Phil Hancock (1976, Florida) – His lone TOUR win in 10 full seasons came in 1980 at Pinehurst No. 2 when he won the Hall of Fame. (Of the next 10 players on the leaderboard, eight were major winners.) After battling back issues during his career, he transitioned to a club pro. He’s now working in the insurance industry in Florida.
Lindy Miller (1978, Oklahoma State) – Ten starts into his first season as a pro in 1979, Miller took second at the Tallahassee Open. It was his best finish in 160 TOUR starts. In 1990, he won an event in the first year of the Web.com Tour (then known as the Ben Hogan Tour). He was director of golf at Mira Vista Country Club in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, for 20 years. He is now in charge of corporate development and patron relations for the Ben Hogan Foundation.
Willie Wood (1982, Oklahoma State) – In his 299th start on TOUR, Wood finally broke through with his lone win, the 1996 Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic. He’s now a full-time player on the Champions Tour, having won twice in 2012 when he ranked 19th in Schwab Cup points. His most recent finish was a tie for 38th in last week’s U.S. Senior Open.
John Inman (1984, North Carolina) – Inman competed in 304 TOUR events, winning twice and played his last full season on TOUR in 1996. Two years later he became head coach of the golf team at UNC, serving for 13 seasons and guiding the Tar Heels to five top-20 finishes at the NCAAs. Now 52, he’s currently playing on the Champions Tour.
Sam Randolph (1985, Southern Cal) – In his rookie season on the PGA TOUR, Randolph won the rain-shortened Bank of Boston Classic. It would be his only TOUR win in 171 starts. Randolph is now the Director of Instruction at Mira Vista Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
|PGA TOUR wins (as of July 1, 2015)|
|Wins||Player (Year of Haskins Award win)|
|79||Tiger Woods (1996)|
|42||Phil Mickelson (1990-92)|
|19||Ben Crenshaw (1971-73)|
|17||Curtis Strange (1974)|
|13||David Duval (1993)|
|12||Justin Leonard (1994)|
|9||Jay Haas (1975)|
|8||Bob Tway (1981), Brad Faxon (1983)|
|7||Scott Simpson (1977), Matt Kuchar (1998)|
|6||Stewart Cink (1995), Hunter Mahan (2003), Bill Haas (2004)|
|5||Scott Verplank (1986), Billy Mayfair (1987), Luke Donald (1999)|
|4||Bob Estes (1988), Ryan Moore (2005)|
|3||Robert Gamez (1989)|
|2||John Inman (1984), Charles Howell III (2000), Graeme McDowell (2002), Russell Henley (2010)|
|1||Phil Hancock (1976), Bobby Clampett (1979-80), Willie Wood (1982), Sam Randolph (1985), Bryce Molder (2001)|
|0||Lindy Miller (1978), Brad Elder (1997), Pablo Martin (2006), Jamie Lovemark (2007), Kevin Chappell (2008), Matt Hill (2009), Patrick Cantley (2011), Justin Thomas (2012), Michael Kim (2013), Patrick Rodgers (2014), Maverick McNealy (2015)|