The Kentucky Golf Association is proud to announce the recipients of all six Player of the Year categories for 2017. The categories are divided by age divisions for all male participants and also include a division for all female participants.
Beginning with our KGA Female Player of the Year, Martha Leach of Hebron is a repeat winner of this award. Her performances in 2017 were highlighted as the top mid-amateur player at the Kentucky Women’s Open, her round of 32 match play finish and loss to eventual 2017 champion Judith Kyrinis of Canada at the U.S.Women’s Senior Amateur and her round of 16 match play finish at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship held in Houston after a five week delay caused by Hurricane Harvey. Mrs. Leach has already earned her place in the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame and looks to continue her competitive efforts for many years to come.
The “Don Smith” Legends Division Player of the Year is also a repeat winner for 2017. Louisville’s Don Wood took top honors with several outstanding performances during the KGA Amateur Series events including three victories and a runner-up at the KGA Amateur Series Championship (Legends Division). Wood also captured a win at the KGA Senior Amateur Championship in the Legends Division.
Rick Cain of Louisville is the KGA “Dale Barnstable” Player of the Year in the Masters Division. Cain’s performances were highlighted with wins at the KGA Senior Amateur (Masters Division) and the KGA Amateur Series Championship (Masters Division). Cain also collected a runner-up spot at the KGA Senior Team Championship with partner Mike Campbell.
The KGA “Tom Musselman” Senior Player of the Year goes to Stefan Robbins of Lexington. Robbins held off several competitors in this close contest and was a consistent finisher in the top of his division. He was low senior amateur (KGA Member) at the Kentucky Senior Open, finished in a second place tie at the KGA Amateur Series Championship, and also had three other top 6 finishes throughout the season.
One of the new divisions created for competition is the Mid-Senior Division for all players 40 – 54 years of age. This division provides a stepping stone for players not quite at the senior age for competition and just beyond their best opportunities to compete with the younger of our contestants. This was a close race as well with the top honor going to Georgetown’s Tony Wise. Wise held off his competition with wins at the KGA Mid-Amateur (Mid-Seniors) and the KGA Amateur Series Championship (Mid-Seniors). He also used a third place finish at the KGA Senior Amateur (Mid-Seniors) to lift his points total to the top of his division.
Finally, the KGA is proud to present the 2017 John C. Owens Player of the Year Award to Lexington’s Denver Haddix, Jr. Haddix is a not only known for his achievements in Kentucky but is making himself known across the country with outstanding performances at several USGA championships. His victory at the 2017 KGA Match Play was only one of the highlights on his record for the season. Haddix finished in the runner-up position at the KGA Mid-Amateur Championship after closing with a score of 63, the best round of the competition, in the final round. He also earned a trip to the US Mid-Amateur Championship in Atlanta with a medalist spot at the sectional qualifier at Heritage Hill Golf Club.
Congratulations to all of these fine players and we look forward to another great year of golf in 2018!