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Washington State Golf Association Names 2012 Players of the Year
The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) has announced its 2012 Player of the Year recipients. The winners include Men's Player of the Year, Chris Williams of Moscow, Idaho; Women's Player of the Year, Erynne Lee of Silverdale; Senior Women's Player of the Year, Yasue Alkins of Lacey; Junior Boys' Player of the Year, Frank Garber of Kirkland; and Junior Girls' Player of the Year, Jordan Ferreira of University Place. Tom Brandes of Bellevue swept the Men's Senior and Mid-Amateur Player of the Year categories, while Leslie Folsom of Seattle was named the inaugural Women's Mid-Amateur Player of the Year.
After a historic 2011 campaign that included victories at the 18th Sahalee Players Championship and the 45th Pacific Coast Amateur, a selection onto the Walker Cup, and being named a member of the U.S. Palmer Cup team, Chris Williams' resume in 2012 was impressive. Williams began the year by cruising to a 10-stroke victory in the 86th Washington State Men's Amateur. Three weeks later he finished runner-up to Kevin Penner of Las Vegas, Nev. in his title defense at the Sahalee Players Championship in July.
The University of Washington senior responded in fine fashion by earning qualifying medalist honors and ultimately winning the Western Amateur, arguably the most grueling week of golf possible. Williams also made it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur, the Round of 64 in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, and was individual runner-up in the World Team Amateur Championship in Turkey. Williams currently holds the No. 1 spot in the World Amateur Rankings, and received the 2012 Mark H. McCormack Medal, given annually by the R&A and USGA recognizing the world's leading amateur golfer.
Lee earned her fourth Women's Player of the Year honor in five years after an impressive freshman year at UCLA. Her accomplishments on the state and national level have been nothing short of remarkable.
A quarterfinalist finish at the U.S. Women's Amateur and a top-30 finish in the NCAA Division 1 Finals were two of her notable highlights, but she also earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors and was a member of the U.S. team in the 2012 Women's World Team Amateur Championship.
Brandes had a dominant season in 2012 as he won the Washington State Men's Mid-Amateur, the Washington State Senior Men's Amateur, the Pacific Northwest Men's Mid-Amateur, the Pacific Northwest Senior Men's Amateur, and the Washington State Senior Men's Champion of Champions. The clean sweep in the mid-amateur and senior championships earned Brandes a spot on the team representing Washington State in the USGA State Team Championship, held in Galloway, N.J., in September.
He was also a quarterfinalist in the Pacific Northwest Men's Master-40 Amateur Championship and runner-up at the Senior Washington Open. This is the third year in a row that Brandes has earned Senior Men's Player of the Year honors and he's also the inaugural Men's Mid-Amateur Player of the Year.
Alkins turned in another fine year as well, with victories in the Washington State Senior Women's Champion of Champions, the Washington State Senior Amateur, and the Tacoma Women's Golf Association Championship.
For Folsom, the 2012 campaign was a milestone year. After being a perennial winner in the Washington State Women's Best-Ball Championship with her partner, Jane Harris of Seattle, Folsom finally earned her first individual victory when she won the Washington State Women's Mid-Amateur in August. She also finished in the top-10 in the Washington State Women's Amateur, runner-up in the Pacific Northwest Women's Mid-Amateur, and made it to the Round of 32 in the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur.
Garber led the Washington State Junior Golf Association points list thanks to his AAA state high school title, a seventh-place finish in the Junior America's Cup, and a tie for 13th in the Junior World's. Garber also made it to the Round of 16 in the Pacific Northwest Junior Boys' Amateur Championship.
Ferreira, a recent Notre Dame commit, earned Junior Girls' Player of the Year honors following a strong season that included a victory in the Pacific Northwest Junior Girls' Amateur and runner-up finish in the AAAA state championship. She also qualified for the U.S. Girls' Junior Amateur, where she finished in a tie for third in stroke-play qualifying before losing in the first round of match play.
The WSGA Championship Committee meets annually in early October to vote and select the Players of the Year for the WSGA in the categories of Men's, Women's, Senior Men's, Senior Women's, Mid-Amateur, Women's Mid-Amateur, Junior Boys', and Junior Girls'. The WSGA Performance Points list is used as the primary guide for the selection. Since the WSGA does not have a performance points list for juniors, the WSGA receives the nominations for selection from the Washington Junior Golf Association. For more information, go to www.thewsga.org.