Norman Xiong of Oregon, who grew up in Southern California after moving from Guam when he was 6 years old, was named winner of the 2016 Fred Haskins Award as the best player on college golf. He received the award during a program on the Golf Channel.
Xiong, a sophomore from Lake Elsinore, set a Ducks record by winning six times this season, including three in a row at one stage. He announced last week that he will not return to Oregon for his junior season and has turned pro.
“It means so much and allows me to reflect on how much I was able to accomplish at Oregon,” said Xiong, who earlier in the week was named winner of the Jack Nicklaus Award. “Looking at all the names on there, it’s a big honor. This award is so prestigious and the winner stands out in college golf.
“I enjoyed being with my teammates, especially the last few months, when I was playing so well. I enjoyed the college experience, but I’m excited for what the future holds. I get to do what I love, play golf and travel the world.”
Xiong, who earned the Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year Award last season, captured the Duck Invitational, the Goodwin and the Western Intercollegiate in consecutive outings this season. He also won the NCAA Stockton Regional, the Rod Myers Invitational and the Nike Collegiate Invitational.
He earned Division I PING First-Team All-American and First-Team All Pacific 12 Conference honors.
Head coach Casey Martin of Oregon, who played alongside Woods on Stanford’s 1994 NCAA Championship team, said Xiong is the best 19-year-old golfer he has seen since Woods.
The two other finalists for the 2018 Haskins Award were senior Doug Ghim of Texas and junior Braden Thornberry of Mississippi, who won the award last year.
Previous winners of the Haskins Award include Woods, Phil Mickelson of Arizona State, Justin Thomas of Alabama, Ben Crenshaw of Texas, Curtis Strange of Wake Forest, David Duval of Georgia Tech, Justin Leonard of Texas, Luke Donald of Northwestern, Graeme McDowell of Alabama Birmingham, Matt Kuchar of Georgia Tech, Bill Haas of Wake Forest, Ryan Moore of UNLV, Scott Simpson of USC, Hunter Mahan of Oklahoma State, Stewart Cink of Georgia Tech, Jay Haas of Wake Forest and Brad Faxon of Furman.