The Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) has announced the Players of the Year for the 2013 championship season. The talented group of recipients include Cameron Peck of Olympia, Wash. in the Men’s category; Kendall Prince of Lake Oswego, Ore. in the Women’s category; Kevin Carrigan of Victoria, B.C. in the Men’s Mid-Amateur category; Christina Proteau of Port Alberni, B.C. in the Women’s Mid-Amateur category; Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash. in the Senior Men’s category; Kareen Markle of Meridian, Idaho and Lisa Smego of Olympia, Wash. share Co-Player of the Year honors in the Senior Women’s category; Frank Garber of Kirkland, Wash. in the Junior Boys’ category; and Gigi Stoll of Beaverton, Ore. in the Junior Girls’ category.
Peck dominated the field in two of the region’s most prestigious championships, winning the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur and the Washington State Men’s Amateur. He went wire-to-wire in the State Amateur, held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., winning the championship by five shots. A month later he marched through the match-play bracket at the PNGA’s Men’s Amateur, held at Bandon Dunes, winning the final match 7 and 6 over Hans Reimers. Peck also qualified to play in the U.S. Amateur Public Links, where he made it to the Round of 16. Peck won the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur, and was named that year’s PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year. He played his collegiate career at Texas A&M and has recently turned professional, intending to play in the PGA Tour’s Q-School this fall.
Prince is receiving her first Women’s Player of the Year honors. After making it to the final match in last year’s Oregon Women’s Amateur and ultimately finishing runner-up, this year she closed the deal by defeating Gigi Stoll (this year’s PNGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year) in the final match to claim the championship. Prince also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur, making it to the Round of 16. In the Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur, she also made it to the Round of 16, and was that championship’s medalist in the stroke-play portion, shooting a new women’s course record 5-under par 67 in the first round at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash. Prince is a junior playing for the University of Arizona after competing earlier at Ohio State University where she was the 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
This is Carrigan’s second consecutive Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year honor. His exceptional year included repeating as champion of the Canadian Mid-Amateur, a national championship. He also finished third in the BC Amateur, tied for seventh in the Canadian Amateur, tied for sixth in the Sahalee Players Championship, and tied for third in the Peru Invitational.
Proteau is also receiving her second consecutive Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year honor, and her year also included repeating as champion of the Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. She also won the BC Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, after finishing runner-up last year. She qualified for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, making it to the Round 16, and made it to the Round of 32 in the Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur. She also tied for 13th in the BC Women’s Amateur.
Brandes enjoyed another dominant season in 2013, as he repeated as champion in the Washington State Senior Men’s Amateur and the Pacific Northwest Senior Men’s Amateur. He was runner-up in the Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur; tied for fourth in the Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur; tied for seventh in the Washington Senior Open; and was medalist in the U.S. Senior Open qualifier. Brandes took his game overseas in 2013, finishing runner-up in the British Senior Amateur, held at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. This is the third consecutive PNGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year honor for Brandes.
Smego should probably also receive a Comeback Player of the Year award of some kind, having come back strong in 2013 after recovering from back surgery. She won the Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur; was medalist of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur qualifier; and qualified for the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, where she made it to the Round of 64. Smego previously won the PNGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year award in 2006.
Markle excelled locally and nationally in 2013. In her home state of Idaho, she won the IGA Women’s Match Play Championship and also the IGA Women’s Mid-Amateur. Then Markle broadened her reach by winning the Pacific Northwest Women’s Mid-Amateur, a championship she also won in 2005 and 2007. She qualified for the USGA Women’s Senior Amateur and made it into the Round of 64, and also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur where she made it to the Round of 32. To cap off her season, Markle was selected to represent Idaho in the USGA Women’s State Team Championship.
Garber’s remarkable year included being both the medalist and champion of the Pacific Northwest Junior Boys’ Amateur; the AAA State High School champion; Most Valuable Player honors at the Junior America’s Cup; Player of the Year honors for the Washington Junior Golf Association; and a tie for 27th in the Callaway Junior World Championship. Garber has also twice been named the WSGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year.
Stoll, a junior at Beaverton (Ore.) High School, is becoming one of the finest golfers to come out of this region in a while. Her list of accomplishments this year includes the Oregon Junior Girls’ Amateur champion and medalist; Oregon Junior Girls’ Stroke Play champion; champion of the Oregon Junior Girls’ Tournament of Champions; runner-up in the Oregon Women’s Amateur; medalist at the U.S. Junior Girls’ qualifier (she would make it to the Round of 64 in the championship proper); a tie for fourth place in the Callaway Junior World Championship; and a tie for 10th in the PGA Junior Girls’ Championship.
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. Awards are given annually in eight different categories: Men’s, Women’s, Senior Men’s, Senior Women’s, Junior Boys’, Junior Girls’, Men’s Mid-Amateur and Women’s Mid-Amateur. The awards are officially presented at the PNGA Annual Meeting in the spring.