The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) has announced the 2017 Player of the Year recipients.
The category winners are as follows: Men’s, Derek Bayley of Rathdrum, Idaho; Women’s, Julianne Alvarez of Seattle; Men’s Mid-Amateur, Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho; Women’s Mid-Amateur, Victoria Fallgren of Spokane; Senior Men’s, Tom Brandes of Bellevue; Senior Women’s, Yasue Alkins of Steilacoom; Junior Boys’, Joe Highsmith of Lakewood; and Junior Girls’, Brittany Kwon of Bremerton.
The recipients will be honored at the 96th WSGA Annual Meeting, which is being held Saturday, October 28 at Bear Creek Country Club in Woodinville, Wash.
Click here for a complete list of accomplishments of this year’s WSGA Player of the Year recipients.
Derek Bayley, Men’s Player of the Year
Now a senior on the Washington State University men’s golf team, Bayley had runner-up finishes in two of the region’s premier amateur championships. In the Washington State Amateur, he finished second for the second year in a row, and in the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur he made it to the final match before falling.
Julianne Alvarez, Women’s Player of the Year
A native of New Zealand, Alvarez is now a junior on the women’s golf team at the University of Washington. She won the two premier amateur championships in the region, the Washington State Women’s Amateur, and the Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur, a match-play championship that she won on the second extra hole. She also qualified for the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Reid Hatley, Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year
This is the third year in a row that Hatley has earned this honor. He made it to the Round of 16 in the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur. He was the medalist for the U.S. Amateur qualifier, and had top-5 finishes in the Oregon Open Invitational, Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur, Washington State Men’s Mid-Amateur and the Royal Oaks Invitational.
Victoria Fallgren, Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year
This is the first time Fallgren has received this award. She won the Washington State Women’s Mid-Amateur, and qualified for the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Fallgren is an assistant coach for the women’s golf team at Gonzaga University, where she had played collegiately.
Tom Brandes, Senior Men’s Player of the Year
This is the seventh time that Brandes has received this award. He won three titles this year, among them the Washington Senior Open, in which he competed against the region’s professionals; the Pacific Northwest Senior Amateur, the fourth time he has won the title; and the WSGA Senior Men’s Champion of Champions, in which he competed against other champions from around the region. He also had top-10 finishes in the Washington State Senior Men’s Amateur and the Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur.
Yasue Alkins, Senior Women’s Player of the Year
This is the second time Alkins has earned this award, having previously received it in 2012. She won the Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur, and had top-10 finishes in the Pacific Northwest Senior Women’s Amateur and the WSGA Senior Women’s Champion of Champions.
Joe Highsmith, Junior Boys’ Player of the Year
Highsmith sealed the deal this year at the Washington State Amateur, winning the title by two shots. Last year he had missed out of the championship’s playoff by a single shot. He had three top-5 finishes in AJGA tournaments this year, and qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur, making it to the Round of 32. He won the WIAA 4A High School State Championship. He was named to the prestigious Junior President’s Cup and AJGA Wyndham Cup teams. Highsmith is a senior at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, and has already committed to attend Pepperdine University after graduation. This is the second year in a row that he has been named Player of the Year.
Brittany Kwon, Junior Girls’ Player of the Year
Kwon receives this award for the second year in a row. She won two WJGA titles, was medalist at the WJGA Junior World Qualifier, and made it to the Round of 64 in the U.S. Girls’ Junior. Kwon was co-champion of the Pacific Northwest Junior PGA Championship. She won the 2017 Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur for the second time, having also won it in 2014 as a 13-year-old. Kwon also won the WIAA 3A High School State Championship for the second consecutive year.
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’s OGIO 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.