The Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) has announced the 2017 Players of the Year for the region. Those honored include Men’s Player of the Year, Cole Madey of West Linn, Ore.; Women’s, Gigi Stoll of Tigard, Ore.; Men’s Mid-Amateur, Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho; Women’s Mid-Amateur, Amanda Jacobs of Portland, Ore.; Senior Men’s, Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash.; Senior Women’s, Lara Tennant of Portland, Ore.; Junior Boys’, Joe Highsmith of Lakewood, Wash.; and Junior Girls’, Susan Xiao of Surrey, B.C.
Click here for a list of playing accomplishments of this year’s recipients, as well as a complete history of all past PNGA Player of the Year recipients.
Cole Madey, Men’s Player of the Year
Madey, a junior on the UCLA men’s golf team, spent 2017 on the leaderboards of some of the nation’s most prestigious events. He won the Oregon Amateur, held at his home course of The Oregon Golf Club, and had top-10 finishes at the Sahalee Players Championship and the California State Fair Amateur. He made it to the Round of 32 in the U.S. Amateur, and the Round of 64 in the PNGA Men’s Amateur.
Gigi Stoll, Women’s Player of the Year
A junior on the University of Arizona women’s golf team, Stoll won the 2017 Oregon Women’s Amateur for the third time (also winning it in 2014 and 2015). She was medalist in local qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Amateur, eventually making it to the Round of 16 in that national championship. She was also a quarterfinalist in the PNGA Women’s Amateur. This is the third time Stoll has received the Player of the Year award, having previously earned it in 2014 and 2015. She was also named PNGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year in 2013.
Reid Hatley, Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year
Hatley was named the Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year for the third consecutive year. Among this year’s highlights was making it to the Round of 16 in the PNGA Men’s Amateur, playing against college players. He was the medalist for the U.S. Amateur qualifier, and had top-5 finishes in the Oregon Open Invitational, Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur, Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur and the Royal Oaks Invitational. Hatley was also selected as the 2017 WSGA Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year.
Amanda Jacobs, Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year
For Jacobs, this is the third year in a row she has earned Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year honors. She finished no worse than third in four significant championships in the region, with a runner-up finish in the Oregon Women’s Amateur, a third-place finish in the Oregon Women’s Mid-Amateur, a tie for third in the Oregon Women’s Tournament of Championship, and was a semifinalist in the PNGA Women’s Mid-Amateur.
Tom Brandes, Senior Men’s Player of the Year
This is now the sixth time that Brandes has received this award. He won three titles this year, among them the Washington Senior Open, in which he competed against the region’s professionals; the PNGA Senior Men’s Amateur, the fourth time he has won the title; and the WSGA Senior Men’s Champion of Champions, in which he competed against other champions from around the region. He also had top-10 finishes in the Washington State Senior Men’s Amateur and the PNGA Men’s Mid-Amateur, as well as being a quarterfinalist in the PNGA Master-40 Amateur.
Lara Tennant, Senior Women’s Player of the Year
Tennant won the Oregon Women’s Mid-Amateur and Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur championships, tied for third in the Oregon Women’s Senior Stroke Play, and finished fifth in the OGA Women’s Tournament of Champions. Her most significant accomplishment of the year came when, after qualifying for the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, held at her home club of Waverley Country Club, she then took medalist honors in the stroke-play qualifying, making it to the Round of 64 of that national championship.
Joe Highsmith, Junior Boys’ Player of the Year
Highsmith sealed the deal this year at the Washington State Amateur, winning the title by two shots. Last year he had missed out of the championship’s playoff by a single shot. He had three top-5 finishes in AJGA tournaments this year, and qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur, making it to the Round of 32. He won the WIAA 4A High School State Championship, tied for second in the Pacific Northwest Junior PGA Championship, and was named to the prestigious Junior President’s Cup and AJGA Wyndham Cup teams. He was also named as a First Team AJGA Junior All-American for 2017. Highsmith is a senior at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, and has already committed to attend Pepperdine University after graduation.
Susan Xiao, Junior Girls’ Player of the Year
In 2017, Xiao made it a clean sweep of national championships in her age group, winning the Canadian Juvenile Girls’ Amateur and the Canadian Junior Girls’ Amateur. She was the only player who finished under par in the Junior Girls’, a win that gives her an exemption into the 2018 Canadian Women’s Amateur, a championship in which she finished sixth this year as a 15-year-old. She also won the AJGA UA Canadian Championship and the MJT Vancouver Season Opener. She also had top-5 finishes in four other events, including the Golf Canada-Future Links, AJGA ACDS Ryan Moore, AJGA Se Ri Pak, and the CJGA Humber College Western Junior.
The PNGA Player of the Year candidates are nominated by the various state and provincial golf associations that comprise the PNGA (Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington), and are selected by a vote of the PNGA Championship Committee and members of the Northwest Golf Media Association. The Mid-Amateur category was created in 2012. The awards are officially presented at the PNGA Annual Meeting in the spring.
The PNGA was founded on February 4, 1899. It is a 501c3 charitable, international, amateur golf association dedicated to preserving the true spirit of golf by supporting its allied associations, conducting quality championships, and promoting activities beneficial to golfers in the Pacific Northwest. For more than a century, the Association has been a pioneer in developing competitions and services and its mission has grown and evolved. Today, the PNGA remains committed to being a truly regional organization providing benefits and services to its members and member clubs throughout the Northwest.