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Arkansas' Maria Fassi and Oregon's Norman Xiong Win ANNIKA and Fred Haskins Awards - Recognizing the Most Outstanding Collegiate Golfers for 2017-18

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 7, 2018, 12:49 am

Fassi Earns Exemption to the 2018 Evian Championship; Xiong Earns Exemption to the 2018 Greenbrier Classic

 Video: Alabama Women's Golf Coach Mic Potter and Oklahoma State's Men's Golf Coach Alan Bratton win NCAA Women's and Men's National Golf Coaches of the Year

ORLANDO, Fla., June 6, 2018 – Arkansas junior Maria Fassi and Oregon sophomore Norman Xiong were announced tonight as winners of the ANNIKA Award presented by 3M and the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel, respectively, recognizing the most outstanding female and male Division I collegiate golfers as voted on by their fellow players, coaches and golf media. Fassi and Xiong joined Golf Central live in-studio for the announcements and to receive their awards.

ANNIKA AWARD PRESENTED BY 3M: Fassi, winner of six collegiate events during the 2017-18 season, also is the 2018 SEC Women’s Golf Player of the Year and a First-Team All American. Fassi will compete in the 2018 Evian Championship, the LPGA’s final major of the year, Sept. 13-16, as a result of winning the ANNIKA Award. She has amassed eight victories in her collegiate career, and is scheduled to return to Arkansas for her senior season. Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam presented the trophy to Fassi.

“College golf is such a big part of these players’ careers. They work really hard and to celebrate the best player means a lot,” said Sorenstam. “This continues what we do with the ANNIKA Foundation, to help these young girls to fulfill their dreams and keep them going on their career path.”

“It means the world to win the ANNIKA Award,” said Fassi. “I admire Annika, she’s been someone I’ve looked up to since I was a young girl. To win this award and to get it from my peers, the coaches and the media, it means a lot that they thought I was worthy of it. I don’t have words to explain how excited I am and how grateful I am to be receiving this award today.

“We have one mission left to accomplish,” Fassi continued. “We are going to be working on it all year long to accomplish our mission next May.”

“It has been a really fun journey with her, and with our team as well,” said Arkansas women’s golf coach Shauna Taylor. “To watch her win six times this year, and to do it on different conditions and different golf courses, just says a lot about her game and how much she has matured and grown since she stepped on campus.”

FRED HASKINS AWARD PRESENTED BY STIFEL: Xiong capped off his collegiate careerat Oregon with six victories during the 2017-18 season – most in school history for a single season – and finishing 11th at the NCAA Men’s Golf Individual National Championship. Xiong also is the recipient of the 2018 Jack Nicklaus Award and is a First-Team All-American. Xiong, who announced at the conclusion of the NCAA Championships that he will turn professional, will receive an exemption to compete in The Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR, July 5-8, where he will make his professional debut.

“College golf is an individual and team sport with high integrity,” said Ron Kruszewski, Chairman and CEO, Stifel Financial Corp. “At Stifel, we are very pleased to be associated not only with college golf, but also with the most prestigious award in college golf, the Fred Haskins Award.”

“It means so much to win this award,” said Xiong. “It definitely allows me to reflect back and realize how much I have accomplished at the University of Oregon. To be on this trophy along with the names that are on here is a really big honor. I’m just really excited for what the future holds for me.”

Also on Wednesday, Golf Channel announced the winners of the NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Coaches of the Year on Morning Drive. The 2018 WGCA (Women’s Golf Coaches Association of America) National Coach of the Year went to Alabama’s Mic Potter, whose Crimson Tide were the 2018 NCAA runners-up in the team national championship; and the GCAA (Golf Coaches Association of America) Dave Williams National Coach of the Year was awarded to Oklahoma State’s Alan Bratton, who guided his Cowboys to an 11th NCAA men’s golf team national championship.

Voting for the ANNIKA and Fred Haskins Awards concluded at the end of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships, respectively. After the votes were collected, the Fred Haskins Commission verified the votes and determined the winner. Golf Channel and Golfweek are media partners for the ANNIKA and Fred Haskins Awards. The Fred Haskins Commission, which for the past 46 years has overseen the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel, also oversees the ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M. Winners of the Fred Haskins Award have captured nearly 30 majors and more than 300 professional tournaments around the world.

-NBC Sports Group-

Watch: Koepka holes out from off the green at 16

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 5:36 am

Brooks Koepka faced a stiff challenge from Gary Woodland on Sunday in South Korea, but eventually, it came time to end the suspense.

Having clung to a slim lead for much of the back nine, Koepka looked as though he was going to have to scramble just to save par when he missed the green at 16. 

Instead, caddie Ricky Elliott was able to leave Koepka's putter in the bag.

That holeout combined with a bogey from Woodland at the 17th but Koepka ahead by three, allowing him to walk to victory and to the top of the world rankings.

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Koepka wins CJ Cup, ascends to world No. 1

By Nick MentaOctober 21, 2018, 5:07 am

Brooks Koepka eagled the 72nd hole Sunday to cap off a final-round 64, win the CJ Cup and supplant Dustin Johnson as the new No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here's how Koepka fended off all comers and took over the golf world Sunday in South Korea.

Leaderboard: Koepka (-21), Gary Woodland (-17), Ryan Palmer (-15), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-15), Jason Day (-12), Scott Piercy (-12)

What it means: This is Koepka's fifth career PGA Tour victory but only his second in a non-major, following his maiden win back at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Up four to start the day, Koepka saw his lead evaporate as Woodland rocketed up the leaderboard and kept pace with him for much of the back nine. But every time Sunday's result appeared in doubt, Koepka reclaimed his lead in dramatic fashion. He nearly aced the par-3 13th to go ahead by two and later holed out for birdie at the par-4 16th to go up three with two to play. He finished par-birdie at 17 and 18 to close out his third victory in the last five months. With the win, Koepka ascends to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.

Round of the day: Ryan Palmer set a Nine Bridges course record when he birdied his final seven holes in a row en route to a bogey-free round of 10-under 62 and a solo third-place finish.

Best of the rest: Woodland played his first 16 holes in 9 under par to storm from five back and catch Koepka atop the leaderboard. But his furious Sunday charge finally came to an end when he failed to get up and dowWn for par from the back bunker at 17. He carded his 11th birdie of the round on the 72nd green to sign for 63 and finish solo second.

Biggest disappointment: In retrospect, Woodland called it correctly on Saturday when he said: "You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can. You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number." Woodland put as much pressure on Koepka as he could. He went out and posted that number. And Koepka never blinked.

Shot of the day: Koepka's holeout at the par-3 16th, which put him ahead by three, unofficially ending the proceedings:

Quote of the day: "To be world No. 1 is something I dreamed of as a kid. I don't think this one is going to sink in." - Koepka

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Watch: Koepka nearly aces par-3 13th Sunday

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 4:24 am

Just when it looked like he was facing a legitimate challenge Sunday, Brooks Koepka responded with a near-ace.

Up four to start the final round, Koepka saw his lead disappear as Gary Woodland raced up the leaderboard to tie him at 13 under and then 14 under.

Unfazed, the three-time major winner birdied the par-5 12th to regain his outright lead and then followed up with this tee shot at the 218-yard, par-3 13th.

And just like that, the tap-in birdie put Koepka back ahead by two with five to play.

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Haas nearly shoots age in taking Champions playoff opener lead

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 10:05 pm

RICHMOND, Va.  -- Jay Haas shot a 7-under 65 - missing his age by a stroke - to take a two-shot lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Trying to become the oldest winner in tour history, the 64-year-old Haas birdied the par-5 16th and 18th holes to get to 11-under 133 on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''I've been out here too long to know that I can learn to expect anything,'' Haas said. ''While I'm hopeful every day and I've been playing OK, the last couple weeks have not been very good, but this week has been much better. I love this golf course and it looks good to my eye. Most of the holes look like I'm going to hit a good shot, so I enjoy playing here.''

Mike Fetchick set the age record of 63 years to the day in the 1985 Hilton Head event. Haas is second on the list, taking the 2016 Toshiba Classic at 62 years, 10 months, 7 days for his 18th senior title.

''That's a good way to say I'm old, 'experience,''' Haas said. ''I think I'm very nervous most of the time when I play and today was no exception, but I continued to hit good shots and, hopefully, I can put one foot in front of the other, one shot at a time, do what I tell my son to do every time, you know? See if I can put some of those adages to work tomorrow.''

Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic

Stephen Ames and Scott Dunlap were tied for second after the round that started in light rain. Ames had a 67, and Dunlap shot 68.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer had a 66 to join Billy Mayfair (67) and Woody Austin (68) at 9 under. Langer won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the season points lead. The 61-year-old German star has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, was tied for 23rd at 4 under after a 71.