Las Vegas, Nevada (February 13, 2012)–UNLV Golf has a long history. The team won a NCAA title in 1998 and two Rebels have won individual NCAA titles (Warren Schutte in 1991 and Ryan Moore in 2004). Now Senior Derek Ernst is looking to solidify his name among the best UNLV golfers of all time by solidly finishing out his senior year. Ernst was one of 28 NCAA college golfers to be named to the exclusive Ben Hogan Watch list. –Staff report with UNLV Sports Information report.
The most prestigious award in men’s college golf, The Hogan 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 the past 12-month period. The Ben Hogan Award Selection Committee represents leaders in professional, amateur and collegiate golf.
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In addition to Ernst, the watch list includes: Blayne Barber (Auburn, Jr.), Zac Blair (BYU, Jr.), Julien Brun (TCU, Fr.), Patrick Cantlay (UCLA, So.), Sean Dale (North Florida, Jr.), Dylan Frittelli (Texas, Sr.), Luke Guthrie (Illinois, Sr.), Stephan Jaeger (Chattanooga, Sr.), Brooks Koepka (Florida State, Sr.), Jace Long (Missouri, Jr.), Bryden Macpherson (Georgia, Jr.), Daniel Miernicki (Oregon, Sr.), Corbin Mills (Clemson, Jr.), Cheng-Tsung Pan (Washington, Fr.), Thomas Pieters (Illinois, So.), Patrick Rodgers (Stanford, Fr.), Kyle Souza (Chico State, Sr.), Jordan Spieth (Texas, Fr.), Justin Thomas (Alabama, Fr.), Ethan Tracy (Arkansas, Sr.), Harold Varner (East Carolina, Sr.), T.J. Vogel (Florida, Jr.), James White (Georgia Tech, Sr.), Cory Whitsett (Alabama, So.), Chris Williams (Washington, Jr.), Eugene Wong (Oregon, Sr.) and Andrew Yun (Stanford, Jr.).
A list of 10 semifinalists will be unveiled on April 11, and then will be pared down to three finalists on May 10. The winner will be crowned at a banquet at Colonial Country Club on May 21, prior to the start of the PGA TOUR’s Crowne Plaza Invitational.
Ernst was also named to the watch list in 2010. Former Rebel golfers to earn the same recognition: Eddie Olson (2009) and Seung-su Han (2007, 2008), while Ryan Moore was the 2005 Hogan Award winner, which marked the first time a UNLV golfer was named the national player of the year. In 2006, UNLV’s Andres Gonzales was a semifinalist for the award.
Ernst played in all four tournaments for UNLV in the fall, leading the Rebels to three team victories. He led the team with a scoring average of 70.00 per round over 12 rounds and turned in three top-five finishes. Seven of his rounds were under par, while an additional round was even par. His worst individual finish of the fall was tie for 15th.
The Rebels, who finished the fall ranked No. 12 in the country, will open the spring season on Feb. 16 at the John Burns Intercollegiate in Hawaii.