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Taylor at the top: Senior wins 2010 Ben Hogan Award

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Nick Taylor won another award yesterday, this time the Ben Hogan Award, the top individual honor in college golf. He’s the first Canadian to win the award.

In his four-year career at Washington, Nick Taylor has won award after award, constantly honored as one of the nation’s top collegiate golfers.

But none of those trophies can match what was given to Taylor last night in Dallas, Texas at the Colonial Country Club. The senior was announced the winner of the 2010 Ben Hogan Trophy, college golf’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy.

Taylor becomes the first UW golfer in history to win the prestigious award, which is presented every year to the top Division I, II, III, NAIA or NJCAA men’s golfer during the collegiate golf season.

“It’s unbelievable,” Taylor said via teleconference last night. “I don’t know what to say. It’s very cool to be in the same company, somehow, with Ben Hogan and his award.”

Head coach Matt Thurmond was right there with Taylor in Dallas. You can bet the ninth-year head coach was just as nervous – if not more – in the moments leading up to the announcement of the winner.

“He said he was more nervous, but I don’t really know,” Taylor said. “I’ll let him answer that one.”

Taylor, a calm, cool Abbotsford, British Columbia native, said a number of things have contributed to his immense success during his time at the UW.

“It’s been a lot of things,” the senior said. “Having the right people help me, my family, my coaches, lots of hard work, having my teammates push me … it’s been a whole entire package and I can’t pinpoint one thing. I couldn’t have done anything without any of those people.”

Taylor, who grew up in hockey-dominated British Columbia, is the first Canadian to win the Hogan award. Thankfully, for himself and the Huskies, Taylor found golf at an early age from his brother and stuck with it.

But awarded with college golf’s top honor? Taylor didn’t really fathom that growing up.

“It’s very weird to think about that and it’s something I never really thought of,” Taylor said of winning the award. “It felt cool to be recognized this year and is something I would have never expected.”

The Hogan Award just adds to Taylor’s golfing resume, which is unbelievable. He is the 2009 and 2010 Pac-10 Co-Golfer of the Year and is a two-time First Team PING All-American.

Last summer, Taylor wowed the nation at the U.S. Open, not only making the cut, but finishing as the low-amateur in 36th place.

This season, Taylor has been the No. 1 golfer for the fourth-ranked Huskies and has a team-best scoring average of 70.89.

The honor comes right as Taylor’s illustrious career at the UW is winding down, with the NCAA Championships just a few weeks away in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Huskies are coming off a huge 29-stroke victory last weekend at the NCAA West Regional.

While it seems like Taylor has garnered nearly every honor in college golf, there’s still one special spot saved in the trophy case: a national championship.

”It would be unbelievable and it would surpass anything else,” Taylor said. “Being there with the team, having that be the ultimate goal, it would be unbelievable. It’s something we’re all working for.”

Reach Sports Editor Taylor Soper at sports@dailyuw.com.

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