New Jersey, United States: Spaniard Jon Rahm-Rodriguez is the winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the number one player in the 2015 World Amateur Golf Ranking [WAGR].
“I am honoured by this award and excited about the exemptions it brings,” said Rahm-Rodriguez, a rising senior at Arizona State University who will receive exemptions into the 2016 US Open and The Open Championships, provided he maintains his amateur status. “I also feel great pride in being the first Spanish golfer to receive this distinction.”
A first-team All-American, Rahm-Rodriguez contended in the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open in February, tying for fifth place. His 12-under-par 272 score, highlighted by a third-round 66, left him three strokes behind champion Brooks Koepka.
As a junior in 2014-15, Rahm-Rodriguez won four tournaments individually: the Bill Cullum Invitational, Duck Invitational, ASU Thunderbird Invitational and NCAA San Diego Regional. The 20-year-old also posted the third-best single-season stroke average in NCAA history (69.15) en route to the 2015 Ben Hogan Award, which recognises the top male college amateur golfer in the United States.
Rahm-Rodriguez also competed in the 2014 World Amateur Team Championship, where he set the individual 72-hole scoring record, previously held by Jack Nicklaus. His performance helped Spain to a third-place team finish.
As a member of Team Europe, Rahm-Rodriguez won 3½ points out of four at the 2014 Palmer Cup. In addition, he won the 2014 and 2015 Spanish Stroke Play Championships. He reached the quarter-final round of last week’s US Amateur Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club.
This R&A and United States Golf Association (USGA) award is named after Mark H. McCormack, a great supporter of amateur golf and the founder of sports marketing company IMG, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“The USGA extends its most sincere congratulations to Jon for winning the 2015 McCormack Medal,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director of Rules, Competitions and Equipment Standards. “His stellar play throughout the college and amateur seasons, as well as his performance in professional events, makes him very deserving of this honour. We are excited to watch his blossoming golf career.”
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, added: “Jon has maintained an extremely high level of play throughout the year and is a deserving winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal. To achieve five victories in elite amateur events in a season is very impressive and to back that up with a top-five finish in a PGA Tour event shows that Jon is capable of playing at the highest levels of the sport.”
Last week, Leona Maguire of Ireland, the leading player in the Women’s WAGR, was named the female winner of the McCormack Medal for 2015.
The WAGR, supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 with the launch of the men’s ranking, which currently encompasses more than 2,300 counting events and ranks more than 6,000 players from 96 countries. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of more than 1,370 counting events with more than 2,940 ranked players representing 71 countries.
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