clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

#SunDevilMoments Seed No. 10: Jon Rahm wins Ben Hogan Award

The Arizona State junior from Spain became the first Sun Devil to win the Heisman Memorial Trophy of men's college golf.

Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sports-USA TODAY Sports

Next week House of Sparky will begin our "#SunDevilMoments" tournament, with the 16 best moments from the athletic season. This week we will randomly introduce all 16 moments, then reveal our seedings and match-ups next week, where you, the reader, will vote on what was the ASU athletics Moment of the Year.

What a year it's been for Jon Rahm (so far).

Playing for a school widely criticized for its history of underachieving in athletics, the junior from Spain blossomed to the top of the college and amateur golf rankings (No. 1 player in World Amateur Golf Ranking and No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings), while bringing home collegiate golf's most prestigious individual award.

Rahm won four tournaments in 2014-15 and was awarded the 2015 Ben Hogan Award on May 18 by the Colonial Country Club, Friends of Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America. Rahm was the first Sun Devil to ever win the award and only the second to qualify as a finalist.

Rahm placed first in the Bill Cullum Invitational, Duck Invitational, ASU Thunderbird Invitational and the NCAA San Diego Invitational. With one year of eligibility remaining, his seven collegiate wins are third-most in ASU history, trailing only Billy Mayfair (8) and Phil Mickelson (16).

Rahm also dominated in the amateur circuit outside of the collegiate scope. He also won the World Team Amateur in Sept 13, 2014, with his 23-under score of 263 breaking Jack Nicklaus' 54-year-old record of 269.

Perhaps Rahm's most memorable moment of the year on the course, though, was his performance in the 2015 WM Phoenix Open in February. Playing under a sponsor's exemption that allowed him to compete in a PGA Tour event as an amateur, Rahm advanced all the way to the final round and finished with a tie for fifth-place at 12-under 272, trailing winner Brooks Koepka by just three strokes. Rahm wasn't afraid to show his Arizona State roots, as he played on the famous 16th hole wearing a Pat Tillman No. 42 jersey and throwing up pitchforks after every hole.

Not many college kids can say they beat both Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods in a golf tournament.

The scary part about Rahm's phenomenal year is that it still isn't over. Rahm and the Arizona State men's golf team are headed to the NCAA Men's Golf Championship in Florida, which starts Friday, with the No. 3 seed.

Rahm has clearly established himself as Arizona State's most dominant male student-athlete, and arguably the entire school with respect to cross-country runner Shelby Houlihan.

We saw this moment as the No. 10 moment of the ASU athletic season. It will be up the readers, beginning next week, to see how far this moment goes in our bracket.