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PNGA Names 2009 Players of the Year

(pictured from top left to right – Nick Taylor, Sue Kim, Patrick O’Donnell, Jackie Little, Zach Wanderscheid, and Erynne Lee)

Federal Way, Wash. (November 3, 2009) – The Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) has announced their 2009 Player of the Year recipients. 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 annually given in the six different categories: Men’s, Women’s, Senior Men’s, Senior Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’. The awards are officially presented at the PNGA Annual Meeting in the spring.

The 2009 winners include Nick Taylor of Abbottsford, B.C. who received the Men’s award; Sue Kim of Langley, B.C. received the Women’s award; Patrick O’Donnell of Clackamas, Ore. received the Senior Men’s award; Jackie Little of Port Alberni, B.C. received the Senior Women’s award; Zach Wanderscheid of Goldendale, Wash. received the Junior Boys’ award; and Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Wash. received the Junior Girls’ award.

Nick Taylor, who was also named Player of the Year in 2008, picked up right where he left off and continued to impress in 2009, marking one of the most extraordinary men’s amateur seasons by a Northwest player in recent memory. Taylor won five NCAA tournaments, finished runner-up in both the NCAA West Regional and Pac-10 Championship, finished 9th overall in the NCAA Championship, and received both NCAA First Team All-American and Pac-10 co-Player of the Year honors while playing for the University of Washington. The season was just getting started when his college season ended. Taylor would go on to win the prestigious Sahalee Players Championship, finish runner-up at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, finish 3rd in the Canadian Men’s Amateur, and place 36th at the U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, NY, receiving the medal for Low Amateur. Taylor is currently the Royal and Ancient’s No. 1 ranked amateur golfer in the world.

Sue Kim has been awarded the Women’s Player of the Year honor for her remarkable success this year. Kim’s accomplishments include winning the gold medal at the Canada Summer Games, finishing runner-up at both the Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Amateur and Canadian National Women’s Tour Quebec, a 3rd place finish at the B.C. Women’s Amateur, a 4th place finish at the Canadian National Future Links Pacific Championship, and a very impressive round of 64 finish at the Ladies British Amateur Championship.

Patrick O’Donnell solidified his Senior Player of the Year honor with a most impressive 2009 season. His accomplishments include winning the Oregon Senior Stroke Play Championship, a runner-up finish at the Oregon Senior Open, and reaching the quarterfinals of the Oregon Senior Amateur. O’Donnell’s most remarkable finish this year was advancing all the way to the round of 16 at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Beverly Country Club in Chicago, Ill.

Jackie Little, also a 2008 Player of the Year recipient, made another strong statement in the senior ranks during her incredible 2009 season in which she won five championships – the Royale Cup National Women’s Senior Amateur, PNGA Senior Women’s Amateur, Alberta Senior Women’s Amateur, and the B.C. Zone 6 Women’s and Senior Women’s Amateur.. Little also finished runner-up at the B.C. Women’s Mid-Amateur, 4th at the B.C. Senior Women’s Amateur, and had an impressive finish at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur making it to the round of 32.

Zach Wanderscheid had a remarkable summer, starting his season with medalist honors at the U.S. Open Local qualifier held at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. He would go on to have impressive showings at the PNGA Men’s Amateur, making the round of 32, and finishing runner-up at the Washington Junior Golf State Championship. Wanderscheid finished the season by winning the PNGA Junior Boys’ Amateur Championship at the University of Idaho Golf Course in Moscow, Idaho.

Now a 16-year-old, Erynne Lee had another fantastic season and is very deserving of her second consecutive PNGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year award. Lee made the Round of 16 at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the Round of 32 at the U.S. Junior Girls’ Championship. Her AJGA finishes were equally impressive, winning the Kathy Whitworth Invite, finishing runner-up at the Junior at the Traditions, 3rd at the Stockton Junior Classic, and 8th at the PING Invitational. Lee also had a 7th place finish at the Junior PGA Championship and was recently named a second team Rolex Junior All-American.

Each year, the PNGA conducts 15 major, regional, amateur championships for men, women, juniors, and seniors throughout the Northwest. PNGA championships are recognized as among the finest amateur events in North America. Each has a long and unique history with some of the greatest names in golf as past champions, including Joanne Carner, Fred Couples, and Tiger Woods, to name just a few.

The Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) was founded on February 4, 1899. It is a 501(c)3 charitable, international amateur golf association dedicated to preserving the true spirit of the game of golf and promoting activities beneficial to golfers in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

The original purpose of the PNGA was to conduct a regional amateur championship for men and women. For more than 110 years, 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.