Medal Recognition for Rising Star Maverick

Maverick McNealy is the world's top-ranked male amateur. Picture by Jeff Haynes/USGA
Maverick McNealy is the world’s top-ranked male amateur. Picture by Jeff Haynes/USGA

St Andrews, Scotland: Maverick McNealy is the winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading player in the 2016 World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).
“To win the McCormack Medal is both very special and a huge honour,” said McNealy. “Amateurism is something that is very important to me, and I really appreciate all that the USGA and The R&A do to promote and support the amateur game at all levels.
“It is very humbling to join the list of previous winners, all of whom have reached the pinnacle of amateur golf. I hope that I can represent this award as well as it has been represented over the past nine years.”
A first-team All-American, McNealy won four collegiate events in 2016 for Stanford University, and made the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his only PGA Tour start of the year. In four career PGA Tour starts, McNealy has made the cut three times.
The 20-year-old was named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, one of only six golfers, including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, to do so.
McNealy won four events individually in 2016: the Western Intercollegiate, where he shot a tournament record total of 194, the lowest ever by a Stanford golfer; the Gifford Collegiate; the US Collegiate; and the Illini Invitational.
His 69.57 stroke average was the second-best in the nation, and he was named a Ben Hogan Award finalist for the second year in a row. He is tied with Patrick Rodgers for the second-most career wins at Stanford with 10, one behind Woods’ 11.
McNealy, a member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team, helped the United States to an 18-12 triumph at the 2015 Arnold Palmer Cup, where he won two matches. He also won a number of tournaments last year including the Pac-12 Championship, where his final round 61 tied the 18-hole record held by Woods and Cameron Wilson; The Prestige at PGA West; the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional; and the Northern California Amateur Match Play.
He was the recipient of the Nicklaus Award and Haskins Award in 2015, and led the nation with the second-best scoring average in NCAA history – 69.05.
As winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal, McNealy receives an exemption into the 2017 US Open Championship at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, and The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale, as long as he remains an amateur.
This R&A and United States Golf Association (USGA) award is named after Mark H. McCormack, who was a great supporter of amateur golf and founded the sports marketing company IMG, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “Maverick has displayed a high level of play throughout the season and is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the Mark H. McCormack Medal. To win four events this year is very impressive, and he has performed well in professional events as well. I look forward to welcoming him to Royal Birkdale for The 146th Open next year.”
John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director, Championships & Governance, said: “Maverick McNealy has had a dominant year as an amateur competitor at the collegiate, international and professional levels. His success is reflected in his many honours.”
Past winners of the McCormack Medal are: Colt Knost (USA) in 2007; Danny Lee (New Zealand) in 2008; Nick Taylor (Canada) in 2009; Peter Uihlein (USA) in 2010; Patrick Cantlay (USA) in 2011; Chris Williams (USA) in 2012; Matthew Fitzpatrick (England) in 2013; Oliver Schneiderjans (USA) in 2014 and Jon Rahm-Rodriguez (Spain) in 2015.
Last week, Leona Maguire, of Ireland, was named the winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal for the second successive year as the leading player in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Supported by Rolex, the WAGR was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The men’s ranking encompasses more than 2,300 counting events, ranking more than 6,500 players from 101 countries.
The women’s ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of more than 1,320 counting events with over 3,190 ranked players from 72 countries.

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