HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The NCAA team champion has yet to be decided, but those players vying for individual accolades have already submitted their résumés.
The race for National Player of the Year is a tight one, with four leading contenders.
Here is one man’s unofficial ballot:
1. Patrick Rodgers, Stanford
National ranking: 1
Skinny: The Hogan Award winner was a Division I-leading six-time winner in 2013-14, including in five of his last seven starts. The tournaments in that stretch that he didn’t win – the Western Intercollegiate and this week’s NCAA Championship – he held at least a share of the lead on the back nine. Even more impressive, his six victories have come at some of the most difficult venues of the year – Erin Hills, PGA West, Southern Highlands and Gallery Golf Club, among others.
2. Cameron Wilson, Stanford
National ranking: 2
Skinny: Wilson was the most consistent performer in college golf this season, finishing inside the top 15 in all 12 events. He wasn’t a true contender for POY, though, until he shot a second-round 63 and prevailed in a playoff at the NCAA Championship. If the Hogan Award finalist had won another event or two during the regular season, he’d likely earn top honors.
3. Ollie Schniederjans, Georgia Tech
National ranking: 4
Skinny: Schniederjans was in position to give voters a lot of pause before they submitted their POY ballot. In his last two starts, the Tech junior led heading into the final day at NCAA regionals but finished second, and he held the lead at the stroke-play qualifier until losing on the third playoff hole. Having already announced that he’s coming back for his senior season, he’s the favorite for the 2014-15 award.
4. Robby Shelton, Alabama
National ranking: 3
Top 10s: 8
Skinny: The Phil Mickelson Award winner as the nation’s top freshman, Shelton has been a factor in nearly every event for the top-ranked team in the country. He won his season-opening event at Olympia Fields and captured another title at Reynolds Plantation, then finished third at this week’s NCAAs. He’ll be a force for years to come.