2019 Players Series Players of the Year Announced
The Kentucky PGA Junior Tour is excited to announce the Players of the Year in the 2019 Players Series. Beginning in late March at Griffin Gate and concluding in mid-July at Greenbrier, a group of golfers stand in the end as the best in their respective divisions for the 2019 season. For their Player of the Year title, each golfer receives a Sun Mountain 2020 Collegiate golf bag.
Ethan Fischer of London takes the title in the Boys 17-18 Division. Fischer competed in eight events this season and notched victories twice, winning at Hidden Cove Golf Course on June 13 and My Old Kentucky Home on July 15. Fischer finished in the top-three at all but one event this season which submitted himself as one of the steadiest players across Kentucky junior golf this summer.
“It feels really great to win this award,” Fischer said. “This was one of my goals this season and I’m proud of myself that I was able to achieve this. Having a positive mindset and attitude is what helped me to winning this award. I hope to begin my high school senior year with the same positive attitude and end this golf season with more goals and higher expectations. In all, my focus is to continue to improve and have fun playing the game.”
Two Frankfort ladies have split the Girls 16-18 Division, being Jordan Harris and Emilie Hill. A competitor in eight events this year, Harris got off to a perfect start with a win at Griffin Gate. Five more top-five finishes the rest of the season gave her a well-rounded resume on the 2019 season. Hill recorded two wins this season at Old Bridge Golf Club on June 6 and at Eagle Trace Golf Course on July 12 that were among a slew of high finishes for her this season.
“Winning the Players Series Player of the Year for 2019 makes me feel accomplished as a competitive golfer,” Harris said. “In the spring, I set this goal and it feels rewarding to have reached it. What worked well for me this season is practicing during the winter and practicing every day in early spring. My long-term golf goal is to play college golf and be competitive for that team. My hope is with my academics, girl scouts and my golf game, I will be able to receive a scholarship to attend a college of my choice.”
Andreas Olsen of Louisville takes the Boys 15-16 Division off the strength of two victories in his eight starts in the Players Series this season. Olsen stood victorious at Bellefonte on May 11 and at Nevel Meade on June 21. In those two wins, he shot impressive rounds of 71 and 69, respectively. Low scores were a common theme for Olsen all season, as he recorded a scoring average of 74.38.
“This title means a lot to me and it is an honor to be named Player of the Year for the Players Series,” Olsen said. “I’m hoping to have a strong finish to the 2019 high school golf season and an even better season next year. After that, I hope to play college golf and grow my game even more. I push myself very hard to become the best I can be. My ultimate goal in golf is to play professionally. Doing what you love for a living is everybody’s dream, and I’m going to go above and beyond to get there.”
The Boys 14 & Under Division is split between Daymian Rij of Haubstadt, Indiana and Grant Broughton of Owensboro. Rij competed in seven events this season and caught fire in his last four events to springboard him to the top of the standings. Beginning with the tournament at Paxton Park on June 27, Rij ended the season with finishes of 3-3-1-T2 with the win coming at Barren River on July 13. Broughton also competed in seven events and notched two wins which bookended his season. In his season debut at Kenny Perry’s Country Creek on May 30, he walked away victorious and did once more in his season finale at My Old Kentucky Home on July 15.
“It feels amazing to win this award because I’ve spent a lot of time practicing and this proves all that hard work paid off,” Rij said. “I feel hopeful now that I can continue on this path and be a great golfer. This season I kept a good attitude and was focused on doing my best. If I wasn’t doing very well, I was able to shake it off and continue with a positive outlook. Putting a lot of time and effort into practicing resulted in chip shots that were like magic. I want to be the #1 player on my varsity team in high school, get a scholarship to D-1 college, and I would like to make it to the PGA Tour.”
“I am very honored to win Player of the Year,” Broughton said. “I was fortunate to play well in several events against very good competition in the Boys 14 & Under Division. In the future, I would like to play college golf and after that I would like to turn pro and make it on the PGA Tour.”
The Girls 13-15 Division is another split which occurs with Jacy Stricker from Sellersburg, Indiana and Madison Glisson of Paducah. While Stricker did not win any of her six events this season, her consistency was on full display as she recorded a steady mark of high finishes, highlighted by runner-up finishes at Kenny Perry’s Country Creek and at My Old Kentucky Home. Glisson finished in the top-four in each of her four events this season. Her campaign was highlighted by her lone victory on the Players Series at Paxton Park. Glisson also won Player of the Year on the Championship Series, establishing her as one of the Tour’s best all-around golfers.
“This award is an honor and it makes me very excited for the years to come,” Stricker said. “The biggest thing I learned this year was to play through your challenges. I believe this is what builds character and endurance. I’m looking forward to returning to my school’s varsity golf team and hope to play for a college where my skills and values would be an asset.”
“I had a great summer playing golf,” Glisson said. “I moved up a division this year and played much longer yardages at a lot of new courses. I got to meet a lot of new people and make some new friends. I am most proud of finishing second in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour Championship in the Girls 13-18 Division. I got to play with girls a lot older than me which was a lot of fun. I hope to play in bigger tournaments next year. I just want to keep working on my game and be ready to play high school golf next year.”
Abbey Brown, a resident of Hamilton, Ohio, takes the crown in the Girls 14 & Under Division. Brown played in seven events this season and established herself as a dominant force from the beginning. Brown won at Bellefonte on May 11, at Old Bridge on June 6 and at Eagle Trace on July 12. Three runner-up finishes to go alongside those victories meant Brown finished in the top-two at all but one event this summer.
“This was my first year playing on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour and my second year playing golf competitively,” Brown said. “I stayed with my grandparents in Kentucky during the summer and loved the opportunity to play golf at different courses across the state. I met many friends on the tour and enjoyed having fun but also pushing each other to be better. I gained more confidence in my game and appreciated the staff and volunteers who helped me on the course. I'm looking forward to representing my high school on the golf team and playing more events in the championship division next year.”
Keira Yun of Elizabethtown made it a clean sweep in her Players Series events this season, on her way to winning Player of the Year in the Girls 12 & Under Division. Playing in five events, she won each time she teed it up, collecting first-place prizes at Shawnee on June 8, Quail Chase on June 17, Nevel Meade on June 21, Barren River on July 13, and My Old Kentucky Home on July 15.
“I am honored to win this award,” Yun said. “Last year I didn’t know how much effort I have to put into golf until I played with a really good player. She was an inspiration to me and after that I put a lot of hard work into these tournaments and it paid off. I could not have done this without my coaches or my mom and dad. In 2020 I want to shoot even or under par in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour. My long-term goals are to make it on the LPGA Tour and play in the Olympics as well.”
Liam O’Grady of Louisville notches his name as the winner of the Boys 11-12 Division. Like Yun, O’Grady won in all five events he participated in this summer, grabbing victory at Kenny Perry’s Country Creek on May 30, Old Bridge on June 6, Shawnee on June 8, Owensboro Country Club on June 10, and Quail Chase on June 17.
"Winning the Player of the Year for my age group is an amazing feeling,” O’Grady said. “This year I worked to improve my approach shots which paid off. I plan to play for my school this fall and continue to play in local, regional and national tournaments. One of my long-term goals is to play golf in college."
Louisville’s Luc Kelty gets the job done in Boys 10 & Under off the strength of five wins in five events as well. His wins came on March 31 at Griffin Gate, Quail Chase on June 17, Nevel Meade on June 21, My Old Kentucky Home on July 15, and Greenbrier on July 16.
“It feels great to win Player of the Year because it shows the hard work and practice I put in paid off,” Kelty said. “My ball-striking was typically my strength throughout the season, but most of all I think I did a good job bouncing back after having a bad hole. Next up I plan to just continue trying to improve; mostly on my putting. I also want to try and win the Drive Chip & Putt Regional at Oakland Hills in October to get to Augusta National next year.”
Brooklyn West of Frankfort has won the Girls 9 & Under Division off the strength of 1-2-1 finishes in her three events on the Players Series this season. West won at Hidden Cove on June 13 and at Paxton Park on June 27 which pushed her atop the standings, allowing her to win Player of the Year for the program’s youngest girls.
“I’m so excited to win Player of the Year for my division,” West said. “My dad really helped me a lot this year. He encouraged me to practice a lot and gave great advice on and off the golf course. I was also motivated by my sister, Blakely, who played with me and against me at every competition. She is my best friend and I love playing with her. I plan to continue playing golf for Capital Day School in Frankort and play for the Hill Raisers PGA Junior League team at my home course, Juniper Hill.”
The final Players Series Players of the Year is Drayden Lindsay of Louisville, who played in eight tournaments, winning six and finishing runner-up in the other two tournaments. Bellefonte, Kenny Perry’s Country Creek, Old Bridge, Shawnee, Quail Chase, and Nevel Meade were the sites of his triumphs.
“My number one goal this year was to win Kentucky PGA Junior Tour Player of the Year,” Lindsay said. “It feels amazing to win. All the hard work practicing definitely paid off. I also want to win the Fall Series Player of the Year and win the Players Series Player of the Year again next year. I want to be on the PGA Tour one day and win majors… especially The Masters!”
On behalf of the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour and Kentucky Golf Foundation, congratulations to each player on their Players Series Player of the Year titles. Each player has big things in store on and off the golf course going forward and their presence on the Tour has helped make the Players Series the best form of competitive development for junior golfers in Kentucky.