The Washington State Golf Association announced the 2013 Player of the Year recipients. The winners include Men’s Player of the Year, Cameron Peck of Olympia, Wash.; Women’s, Erynne Lee of Silverdale; Men’s Mid-Amateur, Mike Haack of Bellevue; Women’s Mid-Amateur, Leslie Folsom of Seattle; Senior Men’s, Tom Brandes of Bellevue; Senior Women’s, Lisa Smego of Olympia; Junior Boys’, Frank Garber of Kirkland; and Junior Girls’, Sierra Kersten of Spokane. All the recipients were honored at an awards banquet held Friday, November 1, at Tacoma Country and Golf Club. The banquet is traditionally held the night before the WSGA’s Annual Meeting.
Peck dominated the field in two of the region’s most prestigious championships, winning the Washington State Men’s Amateur and the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur. He went wire-to-wire in the State Amateur, held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., winning the championship by five shots. A month later he marched through the match-play bracket at the PNGA’s Men’s Amateur, held at Bandon Dunes, winning the final match 7 and 6 over Hans Reimers. Peck also qualified to play in the U.S. Amateur Public Links, where he made it to the Round of 16. Peck won the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur, and was named that year’s WSGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year. He played his collegiate career at Texas A&M and has recently turned professional, intending to play in the PGA Tour’s Q-School this fall.
Lee earned her fifth Women’s Player of the Year honor in six years after an impressive sophomore year playing on the UCLA women’s golf team, which is currently the No. 1-ranked women’s golf team in the U.S. She tied for fourth in the NCAA Division I Championship, and qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur, where she made it to the Round of 64. Lee is also a three-time recipient of the WSGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year (2008-10).
Haack won the Washington State Champion of Champions, against an elite field consisting of club champions and winners of other WSGA championships. He was the runner-up at the Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur, losing in the final match; was the runner-up at the Oregon Open; tied for third in the Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur; tied for 10th at the Washington Open; and tied for 11th at the Washington State Men’s Amateur.
For Folsom, her 2013 campaign was a continuation of her stellar play, enabling her to repeat as the Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year. She defended her title in the Washington State Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship; was champion and medalist at the WSWGA State Championship; runner-up at the Washington State Women’s Champion of Champions; and runner-up at the SWGA City Championship. Folsom also earned a spot on the Washington state team in the 2013 USGA Women’s State Team Championship.
Brandes enjoyed another dominant season in 2013, as he repeated as champion in the Washington State Senior Men’s Amateur and the Pacific Northwest Senior Men’s Amateur. He as runner-up in the Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur; tied for fourth in the Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur; tied for seventh in the Washington Senior Open; and was medalist in the U.S. Senior Open qualifier. Brandes took his game overseas in 2013, finishing runner-up in the British Senior Amateur, held at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. This is the fourth consecutive Senior Men’s Player of the Year honor for Brandes.
Smego should probably also receive a Comeback Player of the Year award of some kind, having come back strong in 2013 after recovering from back surgery. She won the Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur; was medalist of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur qualifier; and qualified for the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, where she made it to the Round of 64. Smego previously won the Senior Women’s Player of the Year award in 2007.
This is Garber’s second consecutive Junior Boys’ Player of the Year award. His remarkable year included being both the medalist and champion of the Pacific Northwest Junior Boys’ Amateur; the AAA State High School champion; Most Valuable Player honors at the Junior America’s Cup; Player of the Year honors for the Washington Junior Golf Association; and a tie for 27th in the Callaway Junior World Championship.
This is Kersten’s first Player of the Year honor, and it was well-deserved. She is the reigning AAAA State High School champion; was medalist at the U.S. Junior Girls’ qualifier, and would eventually make it to the Round of 64 in that championship; and tied for 35th in the Callaway Junior World Championship.
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, Men’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.