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PNGA Announces 2011 Players of the Year
The Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) has announced the 2011 Player of the Year recipients. The winners include Chris Williams of Moscow, Idaho, in the Men's category; Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Wash., received the Women's award; Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash., the Senior Men's award; Terri Frohnmayer of Salem, Ore., the Senior Women's award; Kevin Kwon of Pitt Meadows, B.C., the Junior Boys' award; and Jisoo Keel of Coquitlam, B.C., the Junior Girls' award.
For Williams, 2011 was a historic year that included national and international recognition. In June, he was U.S. Open qualifying medalist at Gold Mountain Golf Club. His stellar play would lead to his selection to play for the U.S. Team at the Palmer Cup, where his undefeated record helped the U.S. beat the European Team at Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Conn. Williams would also win a pair of major amateur championships with back-to-back victories at the 18th Sahalee Players Championship and 45th Pacific Coast Amateur in July, and would shoot a 16-under-par 268 to earn medalist honors at the 109th Western Amateur, where he finished as a quarterfinalist. Williams' outstanding summer culminated in August with his selection to the Walker Cup Team, where his record of 2-1-0 was one of the shining performances on the U.S. squad that came up short against the Great Britain and Ireland Team at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland.
Lee, now 18, has been awarded her second Women's Player of the Year honor. In June, Lee won the Washington State Women's Amateur by defeating her little sister, Katie Lee, by two strokes with a 54-hole total of 3-under-par 213. The most notable performance of Lee's season came a few weeks later in the U.S. Women's Amateur at Rhode Island Country Club, where she would make the quarterfinals for the second year in a row. Also in the past year Lee has played in the U.S. Women's Open, was the Washington State 4A Champion and participated in Canadian Women's Tour events at Beloeil, Blue Springs and Squamish Valley.
Brandes had an inspiring year in winning his first Senior Men's Player of the Year honor. After qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open in each of the past two years, 2011 was a year of firsts for Brandes. He started by winning the Senior Washington Open title at the Cedars at Dungeness, in Sequim, Wash., in June and then qualified for the USGA Senior Amateur in his first attempt. Finally, Brandes capped off a memorable season by winning the Washington State Senior Men's Amateur at Bellingham Golf and Country Club in September.
Frohnmayer had a fine year as well with her victory in the USGA Senior Women's Amateur at the Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn. Frohnmayer defeated defending champion, Mina Hardin of Fort Worth, Texas, 2 and 1 in the final match for her first national title. Frohnmayer was playing in just her third national championship; she lost to Betsy King in the second round of the 1973 U.S. Girls' Junior and was a member of the Rollins College team that played in the 1978 National Women's Collegiate Championship. Frohnmayer finished her remarkable campaign with a runner-up finish in the Pacific Northwest Senior Women's Amateur at Victoria Golf Club, where she was the defending champion.
Kwon, an 11th grader at Maple Ridge Secondary in Maple Ridge, B.C., captured the Canadian Junior Boys' Championship by 11 shots and won the Canadian Junior Boys' Juvenile Championship as well. Kwon also recorded a pair of runner-up finishes at the B.C. Junior Boys' Championship and Canadian National Future Links Pacific Championship, as well as a fourth-place finish in the Western Canada Summer Games.
Keel, a member of the Canadian National Developmental Team, won the Canadian National Future Links Pacific Championship and the Canadian Junior Girls' Championship, Juvenile Division. Keel also notched a pair of runner-up finishes at the Canadian Junior Girls' Championship and the B.C. Junior Girls' Championship. A third-place finish in the Canadian Women's Tour event at Squamish Valley, B.C., where she was the low amateur, and her Round of 16 finish in the U.S. Junior Girls' Championship highlighted Keel's outstanding year. For her extraordinary play, Keel was awarded the "Top Amateur of the Year" award on the Canadian Women's Tour.
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 the six different categories: Men's, Women's, Senior Men's, Senior Women's, Junior Boys', and Junior Girls'. The awards will be officially presented at the PNGA Annual Meeting next spring.
The above report is courtesy of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association. For additional information, visit www.thepnga.org.