The Washington State Golf Association has announced the 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 a selection to play for the U.S. team at the Palmer Cup, Chris Williams' resume in 2012 was equally impressive. Williams began the year by cruising to a 10-stroke victory in the 86th Washington State Men's Amateur Championship. 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. He 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 the individual runner-up in the World Team Amateur Championship, held in Turkey. Williams currently holds the No. 1 spot in the World Amateur Rankings, and received the 2012 Mark H. McCormack Medal, which is given annually by The R&A and the 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 Championship 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 enjoyed a dominant season in 2012, as he took home the Washington State Men's Mid-Amateur Championship, the Washington State Senior Men's Amateur Championship, the Pacific Northwest Men's Mid-Amateur Championship, the Pacific Northwest Senior Men's Amateur Championship, 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, New Jersey 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 is 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 Championship, 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 Championship in August. She also finished in the top-10 in the Washington State Women's Amateur Championship, runner-up in the Pacific Northwest Women's Mid-Amateur Championship, and made it to the Round of 32 in the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship.
Garber led the Washington State Junior Golf Association points list thanks to his AAA state high school title, a 7th 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 with a strong season that included a victory in the Pacific Northwest Junior Girls' Amateur Championship and runner-up finish in the AAAA state championship. She also qualified for the U.S. Girls' Junior Amateur Championship, where she finished in a tie for third in the 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.
Tags: Chris Williams, Erynne Lee, Frank Garber, Jordan Ferreira, Leslie Folsom, Player of the Year, Tom Brandes, Yasue Alkins