Hernandez Nominated For Honda Sports Award

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Maria Hernandez has been nominated for the Honda Sports Award.
Maria Hernandez has been nominated for the Honda Sports Award.

May 27, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue senior Maria Hernandez is one four nominees for the Honda Sports Award, recognizing the top female collegiate golfer.

Hernandez won the 2009 NCAA Championships individual title and was honored as the PING/National Golf Coaches Associate Player of the Year. The 5-foot-5 golfer from Pamplona, Spain, finished the season ranked seventh in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index and was named NGCA first team All-American for the third year in a row.

Hernandez is the second Purdue women's golfer to be nominated for the Honda Sports Award. Christel Boeljon was tabbed in 2007 after finishing tied for second at NCAA Championships.

The most decorated golfer in Purdue history and the first NCAA champion for the women, Hernandez won or tied for first in six events as a senior. She finished the season with a team-low 72.8 stroke average. In 2008, she became the first Purdue women's golfer to win the Big Ten Championships individual title and successfully defended it this season by tying for first with teammate Maude-Aimee Leblanc. Hernandez won 14 tournaments in her collegiate career and helped Purdue claim three Big Ten team championships (2006, 2008, 2009). She was named Big Ten Player of the Year three times, is the only winner of the Big Ten's Mary Fossum Award and was tabbed first team All-Big Ten all four years. In addition, Hernandez has earned Academic All-Big Ten each year she's been eligible for nomination.

Hernandez graduated from Purdue in May with a degree in management and has already qualified for the Duramend Futures Tour, the LPGA's developmental tour. She will compete in her first tournament as a member of the Tour at the Ladies Titan Tire Challenge in Marion, Iowa, June 5 to 7, where she will be making her debut as a professional.

The ninth-ranked Boilermakers won five tournaments in 2008-09, including a second consecutive Big Ten Championships title. The Boilermakers placed second in the NCAA Central Regional and finished 10th in the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships. Purdue has finished in at least the top-10 of the NCAA Championships each of the last four years and five of the last 10 seasons.



The three other nominees for the Honda Sports Award are Carlota Ciganda from Arizona State, the 2009 national champions, Lizette Salas and Jennifer Song, both from Southern California. Hernandez defeated Song, a freshman, for the NCAA individual title.

In addition to the honor of this selection, American Honda Motor Company will donate $1,000 to the women's athletic fund of each nominee's university. The winner's program will receive $5,000 from Honda.