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Haskins Award watch list: McNealy pulls ahead

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It’s a tight race for college golf’s Player of the Year.

Leading up to the June 1 announcement, will track the top contenders for the prestigious award that is given annually to the most outstanding college player in the country.

Only one more tournament – next week’s six NCAA regionals – remains before the end of the voting process. Here’s a look at our top five contenders (listed alphabetically) in this Haskins Award watch list presented by Stifel: 

Lee McCoy, junior, Georgia

Golfweek ranking: 4

One of the hottest players this spring, McCoy won three consecutive tournaments before a disappointing 17th-place showing at the SEC Championship. His four wins overall are the second most of any Division I player. 

Maverick McNealy, sophomore, Stanford 

Golfweek ranking: 1

He’s the new favorite for the award, after closing with 61, running away with the Pac-12 title by 10 shots and, more importantly, beating Player of the Year contender Jon Rahm of Arizona State by 18. McNealy’s five wins this season are the most of any player, and his 68.68 scoring average is the best in the country. 

Cheng-Tsung Pan, senior, Washington

Golfweek ranking: 5

He had three wins and two other top-3s in his first six starts this season, but his momentum has slowed over his last four events. A big opportunity awaits at regionals, where he’ll be teeing it up at the Huskies’ home course.

Jon Rahm, junior, Arizona State

Golfweek ranking: 2

A remarkable season by any measure, with three wins and six other top-10 finishes while playing the Sun Devils’ 127th most-difficult schedule. After Pac-12s, Rahm’s scoring average dropped behind McNealy’s (68.79), and voters will have a tough time shaking the memory of their lopsided head-to-head result. 

Hunter Stewart, senior, Vanderbilt

Golfweek ranking: 3 

Arguably the most consistent player this season, he has three wins (including at the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational) while never finishing outside the top 11 in any of his 10 starts. 

Also worth consideration: Scottie Scheffler, Texas; Ollie Schniederjans, Georgia Tech; Robby Shelton, sophomore, Alabama