GJAC Player of the Year awards

 The Golf Journalists Association of Canada  (of which I’m a member) has released its “player of the year” awards. No real surprises here….

 The Golf Journalists Association of Canada is pleased to announce the results of their 2010 Player of the Year awards. The year-end vote is conducted amongst golf journalists from across Canada and internationally who cover golf for a broad spectrum of media including newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and the internet.

Voting in three of the four categories was not even close as there were runaway consensus winners for Male and Female Professional of the Year and Female Amateur of the Year. The Male Amateur category yielded a very close decision from amongst a large list of nominees.

Following are the winners of the 2010 awards:

Male Professional of the Year
Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Saskatchewan had an exceptional rookie year on the PGA Tour, recording three top ten finishes that earned him enough money to place 100th on the PGA Tour Money List, thereby retaining full playing privileges for 2011. DeLaet put together a strong finish to the 2010 season even though he was hampered by a bulging disk in his back. He will undergo surgery in the first week of January and won’t make his first start on the PGA Tour until early March.

Stephen Ames of Calgary was runner-up.

Female Professional of the Year
Hamilton’s Alena Sharp continues to improve with each passing year on the LPGA Tour. In 2010, Sharp finished 56th on the Tour’s Money List, making 15 of 20 cuts with one top ten finish. The Alena Sharp Charity Classic, which she hosts each year, is a major contributor to Alzheimer’s research in her local community of Hamilton and Brantford.

Jessica Shepley of Burlington, Ontario was runner-up.

Male Amateur of the Year
In the only close vote for this year’s award winners, Dave Bunker of Woodbridge came out on top for the top Male Amateur award. After winning the Ontario Match Play and the Ontario Mid Amateur Championships, Bunker played in his first RBC Canadian Open as a 43-year old rookie, nearly making the cut. In August, he repeated as Canadian Mid Amateur Champion thereby ensuring himself a return trip to the RBC Canadian Open at Shaughnessy in 2011. Bunker capped his season off with a repeat win at the Ontario Public Player’s Championship in September.

Toronto’s Albin Choi, who won the Canadian Amateur as a junior, was runner-up.

Female Amateur of the Year
After one of the best seasons ever by a junior golfer in 2009, Brantford’s Jennifer Kirby returned to claim the 2010 award again. Kirby, a 2010 Team Canada member and sophomore at the University of Alabama, was a semi-finalist at the U.S. Women’s Amateur and a quarterfinalist at the British Ladies Amateur Championship. The 19-year old also finished 7th at the Canadian Women’s Amateur and successfully defended her title at the Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship.

Stephanie Sherlock of Barrie, Ontario was runner-up. Stephanie turned professional late in the season and secured full playing privileges on the LPGA Tour for 2011.

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