Van Sickle named to Hogan Award watch list

Marquette senior one of 22 finalists for prestigious award

Posted February 24, 2009 - Lucas LeNoble, Marquette University



MILWAUKEE - Marquette University senior Mike Van Sickle was one of 22 college golfers named to the 2009 watch list for The Ben Hogan Award it was announced this week by The Friends of Golf (FOG) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCGA).

Considered one of the most prestigious awards in men's college golf, The 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 a 12-month period.

"First off, to be mentioned in the same sentence for an award named after Ben Hogan, one of the best to play the game, is an honor for my family and I," said Van Sickle. "It's really something special to be able to make an impact playing at a mid-major school."

Van Sickle is coming off perhaps the most remarkable fall season in all of college golf by winning four of the six tournaments in which he competed while posting a scoring average of 69.28. His victory at the 34th Annual Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic was his 10th collegiate victory, adding to his school record. Van Sickle was ranked No. 4 in the world (No. 2 in the United States), according to the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking, following the conclusion of the 2008 fall golf season.

A native of Wexford, Pa., Van Sickle became the first amateur in the 92-year history of the event to win the Pennsylvania Open Championship in back-to-back seasons and also won the Pennsylvania Amateur Championship. He also posted top finishes at some of the most competitive amateur events in the world in 2008, including the Southern Amateur (T-2nd), the Porter Cup (3rd) and the Northeast Amateur (T-4th), in addition to qualifying for his first U.S. Amateur.

"Mike played some great golf this summer, and he continued his great play into our fall season," said Marquette head coach Tim Grogan. "The incredible year that he's having, which includes winning the All-America Classic, has proved that Mike is one of the top players in college golf. In my opinion, he was second to none to any college golfer this fall. He's put himself in a position that he recognizes he's possibly the best college player in the country."

This year's semifinalists for The Ben Hogan Award will be announced April 6, 2009. The current watch list includes last year's award winner Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State), along with fellow Golfweek Preseason All-Americans Sihwan Kim (Stanford), Kyle Stanley (Clemson), Adam Mitchell (Georgia), Billy Horshel (Florida), Jamie Lovemark (USF) and Jorge Campillo (Indiana).

"These awards are what they are; you still have to go out there end play your best," said Van Sickle. "If it's good enough to beat everybody else, then great. But I'm going to keep working hard and try to keep a level head and hopefully everything works out."

2009 Hogan Award Watch List (in alphabetical order)

Bronson Burgoon, Texas A&M
Jorge Campillo, Indiana
Bud Cauley, Alabama
Sam Cyr, Point Loma Nazarene
Rickie Fowler, Oklahoma State
Dustin Garza, Wichita State
Matthew Giles, Southern California
Russell Henley, Georgia
Billy Horschel, Florida
Sihwan Kim, Stanford
Trent Leon, Oklahoma State
Jamie Lovemark, Southern California
Adam Mitchell, Georgia
Eddie Olson, UNLV
Kyle Stanley, Clemson
Zack Sucher, UAB
Hudson Swafford, Georgia
Matthew Swan, Alabama
Nick Taylor, Washington
Jarin Todd, Sonoma State
Cameron Tringale, Georgia Tech
Mike Van Sickle, Marquette