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Alabama Golf Association Announces 2019 Players of the Year

HOOVER, AL (January 9, 2020) -- Four first timers and two previous winners have been named 2019 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 7, 2020 at The Old Overton Club in Birmingham.

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

2019 Alabama Amateur Player of the Year Award Winners

MEN

William Buhl, of Fairhope, claims his first Alabama Men's Player of the Year award after winning the 115th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship held at Glen Arbour Golf Course in Nova Scotia by eight strokes with a 273 (-9) total. Buhl, a senior at the University of Arkansas, finished T7 at the Southern Amateur Championship at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock, AR. He also qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club where he was part of a wild 27-for-3 playoff for the final match play positions. Buhl won the 2015 Alabama State Junior Championship at Azalea City Golf Course in Mobile.

WOMEN

Anna Claire Little, of Auburn, captures her first Alabama Women’s Player of the Year award by virtue of top 3 finishes at all three AGA events she played last summer. Little, a sophomore at Troy University, finished Runner-Up at the 87th Alabama Women’s State Amateur Championship played at Cherokee Ridge Country Club falling to Michaela Morard by a 2-up score. She also placed T2 at the Women’s State Four-Ball Championship with partner Elisabeth Preus and T3 at the Alabama Women’s Stroke Play Championship.

SENIOR MEN

Robert Nelson, of Fairhope, wins his first Alabama Senior Men’s Player of the Year award led by a three-stroke victory at the 22nd Alabama State Senior Amateur Championship held at Riverchase Country Club in Birmingham. Nelson finished second at the State Senior Four-Ball Championship with partner Walker Grant and placed T3 in the senior division of the Inaugural Southeast Mid-Amateur Four-Ball at Willow Point. The 2019 State Senior Amateur was Nelson’s second State Senior win and seventh overall AGA title.

SENIOR WOMEN

Susan West, of Tuscaloosa, earns her fourth consecutive Alabama Senior Women’s Player of the Year honor boosted by a seven-stroke victory at the 46th Women’s State Senior Amateur Championship held at GlenLakes Golf Club in Foley. West advanced to the Round of 64 at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Cedar Rapids Country Club in Iowa. She won the Tennessee Women’s Senior Open, finished second at the Women’s Southern Senior Championship and had a T5 at the Senior Women’s North and South Amateur Championship in Pinehurst. West has four career AGA titles: Women’s State Senior Amateur Championship (2015-2017, 2019).

JUNIOR BOYS

Gordon Sargent, 2021, of Birmingham wins his first Alabama Junior Boys Player of the Year award. He won the 74th Alabama Boys State Junior Championship and his first AGA title by six strokes at Indian Hills Country Club in Tuscaloosa posting a 201 (-12) score. He finished second at the Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational, qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur where he advanced to the Round of 64, and made the cut at the Junior PGA Championship. Sargent also finished in a tie for second at the AHSAA 7A State High School Championship. Currently a junior at Mountain Brook High School, he has committed to play collegiately at Vanderbilt University. 

JUNIOR GIRLS

Michaela Morard, 2020, of Huntsville is a senior at Randolph School in Huntsville earns her third consecutive Alabama Junior Girls Player of the Year award.  She won two AGA state titles in 2019 – 87th Alabama Women’s State Amateur Championship and 56th Alabama Girls State Junior Championship. Her Girls State Junior Championship title tied Martha Lang for most all-time victories with four. Morard won the AHSAA Girls 4A-5A State High School Championship by 11 strokes at RTJ Capitol Hill’s Senator course. On the national stage, she advanced to the Round of 32 at the U.S. Girls’ Junior and the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Morard has eight career AGA titles: Alabama Girls State Junior Championship (2015, 2017-2019), Alabama Women’s State Amateur Championship (2019), Alabama Women’s Stroke Play Championship (2016, 2018), and the Alabama Women’s Four-Ball Championship (2015 with Micheala Williams). She has signed to play collegiately at the University of Alabama.  

Past Alabama 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

2018 - Clay Guerin

2019 - William Buhl

  

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

2018 - Cammie Bentley

2019 - Anna Claire Little

 

Senior Men

2016 - Steve Hudson

2017 - Steve Hudson
2018 - Claud Cooper

2019 - Robert Nelson

 

Senior Women

2016 - Susan West

2017 - Susan West

2018 - Susan West

2019 - Susan West

 

Junior Boys

2017 - Ethan Hagood

2018 - Nick Dunlap

2019 - Gordon Sargent

 

Junior Girls

2017 - Michaela Morard

2018 - Michaela Morard

2019 - 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 110 member clubs represented by over 19,000 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 Allied Golf Association to deliver core services in Alabama such as conducting national championship qualifying, administering the World Handicap System including the GHIN service, course & slope rating and education. The AGA annually conducts 23 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.