Alabama
Golf Association

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Alabama Golf Association Announces 2017 Players of the Year

HOOVER, AL (January 9, 2018) -- Three first-timers and three previous winners have been named 2017 Alabama Amateur Players of the Year by the Alabama Golf Association (AGA).  

The Alabama Amateur Player of the Year awards are presented to the number one ranked individual in each of six categories at the end of the calendar year based on the AGA’s state amateur ranking system except for the two junior awards that utilize a September-August calendar year. The Men’s Player of the Year Award was first created in 1994 to honor Alabama amateur golfers who had exceptional individual tournament performances during the year. Since then, the awards have been expanded to include Women (2010), Senior Men (2016), Senior Women (2016), Junior Boys (2017), and Junior Girls (2017).

Seven Alabama Men's Players of the Year have competed on the PGA Tour or PGA Tour Champions. Notable past award winners include: Garrett Osborn (2000), Patton Kizzire (2003), Bobby Wyatt (2011-2012), Michael Johnson (2013), and Robby Shelton IV (2015). Will Swift (2002, 2005, 2006) and Steve Hudson (2004, 2009, 2010) are tied for the most awards with three apiece.

Winners will be honored at the AGA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at The Country Club of Birmingham.

Complete rankings are available on the Alabama Golf Association website at www.alabamagolf.org

 

2017 Alabama Amateur Player of the Year Award Winners

MEN
Matt Gourgeot of Decatur, claims his first Alabama Men's Player of the Year award after winning the State Match Play Championship at Wynlakes Golf & Country Club and finishing second in the State Mid-Amateur Championship at Burningtree Country Club. Gourgeot was a member of Team Alabama at the 16th playing of the Southeastern Challenge Match where he posted a 4-0-1 record. Back in May, he competed in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club with partner Daniel Creel of Killen. Gourgeot has two career AGA titles: State Four-Ball Championship (2015 with Tony Olive), State Match Play Championship (2017).


WOMEN

Elaine Wood of Spanish Fort captures her second consecutive Alabama Women’s Player of the Year award by virtue of winning her third Alabama Women’s State Amateur Championship title in the last four years at Montgomery Country Club. Wood also finished in second place at the Women’s Stroke Play Championship falling in a playoff to Cammie Gray of Northport. In her final year at the University of Montevallo, Wood was named a first team NCAA Division II All-American, a first team NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region selection, and a first team All-Peach Belt Conference selection. Wood posted six top-10 finishes, four top-5 finishes, one individual tournament title, posted a team-best seven rounds under par and a conference-best 73.85 stroke average. Wood has claimed four AGA titles: Women’s State Amateur Championship (2014, 2016, and 2017), Women’s State Stroke Play Championship (2015).

 

SENIOR MEN

Steve Hudson of Birmingham wins his second consecutive Senior Men’s Player of the Year award by excelling on the national stage. Hudson won the Society of Seniors Senior Masters, finished second at the Gasparilla Invitational and the U.S. Senior Challenge, placed T7 at the George C. Thomas Senior, T8 at the George Coleman Invitational and 9th at the Jones Cup Senior. Locally, Hudson finished T3 at the State Senior Amateur Championship at Hoover Country Club and 10th at the State Mid-Amateur Championship at Burningtree Country Club. Hudson has five AGA titles to his credit: State Mid-Amateur Championship (2010, 2012), State Senior Amateur Championship (2011, 2014) and State Four-Ball Championship (2016 with Robert Nelson). Hudson is also a three-time Men’s Player of the Year Award winner (2004, 2009, 2010)

 

SENIOR WOMEN

Susan West of Tuscaloosa earns her second consecutive Alabama Senior Women’s Player of the Year honor boosted by a third consecutive victory at the Women’s State Senior Championship held at Grayson Valley Country Club. West was runner-up at the Women’s Southern Mid-Amateur Championship, a quarter-finalist at the Jones/Doherty Senior Women’s Amateur Championship and finished in 5th place at the Women’s Southern Senior Amateur Championship. She also competed in three USGA National Championships in 2017: U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur and USGA Women’s State Team. At the state level, West finished T10 at the Women’s Stroke Play Championship, advanced to the Round of 16 at the Women’s State Amateur Championship and finished 2nd at the Women’s State Four-Ball Championship partnering with Arin Eddy. West has three career AGA titles: Women’s State Senior Amateur Championship (2015-2017).

 

JUNIOR BOYS

Ethan Hagood of Birmingham, a senior at Spain Park High School, claims the inaugural Alabama State Junior Boys Player of the Year honor. Hagood’s 2017 season was highlighted by winning the Southern Junior Championship held at Willow Point Golf & Country Club, where he birdied his last five holes, including all three playoff holes for the victory.  He finished 3rd at the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship at Goose Pond Colony Resort, won multiple Southeastern Junior Golf Tour (SJGT) events, and totaled a 3-0 record as a member of Team Alabama that won the Southern Junior Cup played in Oxford, MS.  Hagood has signed to play collegiate golf at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

 

JUNIOR GIRLS

Michaela Morard of Huntsville, a sophomore at the Randolph School, captures the first Alabama State Junior Girls Player of the Year award.  Her stellar 2017 season included a victory at the Alabama Girls State Junior Championship at Valley Hill Country Club and two AJGA wins (Justin Rose All-Star Invitational, Junior All-Star at Chateau Elan) along with 3rd place finishes at both the Junior PGA Championship and AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions. Morard competed in three USGA national championships in 2017. She finished 4th individually at the USGA Women’s State Team leading Team Alabama to a 4th place team finish, and advanced to the Round of 64 at both the U.S. Girls Junior and U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships. Morard was also a member of the victorious Team Alabama at the Southern Junior Cup in Oxford, MS posting a 3-0 record. She is a class of 2020 commit to the University of Alabama.

 

All-Time Alabama Amateur Players of the Year Award Winners

Men

1994 - Eric Hamilton

1995 - Patrick Levio

1996 - John Coles

1997 - Eric Hamilton

1998 - Scott Weatherly

1999 - Joey Holley

2000 - Joey Holley

2001 - Talbert Griffin

2002 - Will Swift

2003 - Patton Kizzire

2004 - Steve Hudson

2005 - Will Swift

2006 - Will Swift

2007 - Garrett Osborn

2008 - Talbert Griffin

2009 - Steve Hudson

2010 - Steve Hudson

2011 - Bobby Wyatt

2012 - Bobby Wyatt

2013 - Michael Johnson

2014 - Stewart Jolly

2015 - Robby Shelton IV

2016 - Patrick Martin

2017 - Matt Gourgeot

 

Senior Men

2016 - Steve Hudson

2017 - Steve Hudson

 

Junior Boys

2017 – Ethan Hagood

 

Women

2010 - Kathy Hartwiger

2011 - Kathy Hartwiger

2012 - Kathy Hartwiger

2013 - Cammie Gray

2014 - Virginia Green

2015 - Kathy Hartwiger

2016 - Elaine Wood

2017 - Elaine Wood

 

Senior Women

2016 - Susan West

2017 - Susan West

 

Junior Girls

2017 – Michaela Morard

 

About the Alabama Golf Association (AGA)

The Alabama Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1915 whose mission is to serve and promote amateur golf in Alabama. AGA membership consists of over 130 member clubs represented by nearly 18,500 individuals. The activities and services of the Alabama Golf Association are governed by a Board of Directors consisting of Alabama golfers who wish to serve the game and the association through service.

AGA is the USGA's liaison for golf in Alabama conducting national championship qualifying, administering the USGA Handicap system including the GHIN Handicap service, course & slope rating and education. The AGA annually conducts 12 championships and team match competitions for men, women, juniors, and seniors. The AGA also conducts Alabama high school golf championships and assists with many collegiate events including the SEC Men's Golf Championship. In addition to competitions, the AGA administers the AGA Women's Scholarship Fund that is dedicated to assisting young female golfers in higher education and supports the Alabama Turfgrass Research Foundation.

Since 1980, the AGA has managed the affairs of the Southern Golf Association which includes conducting the Southern Amateur Championship and Southern Junior Championship, in conjunction with the Board of Directors of the Southern Golf Association.

For more information about the Alabama Golf Association, visit www.alabamagolf.org.