The Pacific Northwest Golf Association has announced the Players of the Year for the 2012 championship season. The talented group of recipients include Chris Williams of Moscow, Idaho in the Men’s category, Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Wash. in the Women’s category, Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash. in the Senior Men’s category, Alison Murdoch of Victoria, B.C. in the Senior Women’s category, Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C. in the Junior Boys’ category, and Jisoo Keel of Coquitlam, B.C. in the Junior Girls’ category. Kevin Carrigan of Victoria, B.C. was named the inaugural Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year, while Christina Proteau of Port Alberni, B.C. earned the inaugural Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year honor.
After a historic 2011 campaign that included victories at the 18th Sahalee Players Championship and the 45th Pacific Coast Amateur, a selection onto the Walker Cup, and a selection to play for the U.S. team at the Palmer Cup, Chris Williams’ resume in 2012 was equally impressive. Williams began the year by cruising to a 10-stroke victory in the 86th Washington State Men’s Amateur Championship. Three weeks later he finished runner-up to Kevin Penner of Las Vegas, Nev. in his title defense at the Sahalee Players Championship in July. He responded in fine fashion by earning qualifying medalist honors and ultimately winning the Western Amateur, arguably the most grueling week of golf possible. Williams also made it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur, the Round of 64 in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, and was the individual runner-up in the World Team Amateur Championship, held in Turkey. Williams currently holds the No. 1 spot in the World Amateur Rankings, and received the 2012 Mark H. McCormack Medal, which is given annually by The R&A and the USGA recognizing the world’s leading amateur golfer.
Lee earned her third Women’s Player of the Year honor after an impressive freshman year at UCLA. Her accomplishments on the state and national level have been nothing short of remarkable. A quarterfinalist finish at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and a top-30 finish in the NCAA Division I Finals were two of her notable highlights, but she also earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors and was a member of the U.S. Women’s World Amateur team.
Brandes enjoyed a dominant season in 2012, as he took home the Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, the Washington State Senior Men’s Amateur Championship, the Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, the Pacific Northwest Senior Men’s Amateur Championship, and the Washington State Senior Men’s Champion of Champions. The clean sweep in the mid-amateur and senior championships earned Brandes a spot on the team representing Washington State in the USGA Men’s State Team Championship, held in Galloway, N.J. in September. He was also a quarterfinalist in the Pacific Northwest Men’s Master-40 Amateur Championship and runner-up at the Senior Washington Open.
Murdoch’s 2012 campaign included runner-up finishes in the B.C. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, the B.C. Master-40 Amateur Championship, the Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, and the Washington State Senior Women’s Champion of Champions. She also won the Alberta Senior Ladies Amateur Championship and was a semifinalist at the Pacific Northwest Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Murdoch’s success extended across the Atlantic Ocean to Ireland, where she earned a fifth place finish in the ILGU Irish Senior Women’s Open.
Svensson earned Player of the Year honors thanks to a victory in the Canadian Junior Boys’ Championship and a runner-up finish in the Mexican Amateur Championship. He also finished in a second place tie in the CN Future Links Pacific and in third place at the World Junior Golf Championship.
For Keel, this is the second year in a row that she has earned Junior Girls’ Player of the Year honors, after a memorable 2011 that included wins at the Canadian National Future Links Pacific Championship and the Canadian Junior Girls’ Championship, Juvenile Division. In 2012, Keel started off with a bang, winning the CN Canadian Women’s Tour event at Richmond Country Club. With that momentum, she proceeded to finish runner-up in her title defense at the Canadian Junior Girls’ Championship, Juvenile Division, and also made it to the Round of 32 in the Ladies British Open Amateur and the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur.
Carrigan, who was also nominated in the Men’s Player of the Year category, ultimately earned Mid-Amateur Player of the Year honors after a marvelous season that included victories in the Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship and the B.C. Mid-Amateur Championship. He also finished in fourth place at the B.C. Amateur Championship.
Proteau continued her strong play in 2012 with a victory at the Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship and a runner-up finish at the B.C. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. She also performed well at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, making the quarterfinals. Her success, however, was not limited to mid-amateur championships, as she also finished in seventh place at the B.C. Women’s Amateur and the Washington State Women’s Amateur, and in a tie for 22nd at the Canadian Women’s Amateur.
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.