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2017 Carolinas Golf Players of the Year

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (January 9, 2018) -- A group of Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) members including four previous winners, two first-time winners, and three left-handed golfers have been named the 2017 Richard S. Tufts Players of the Year.  


Related: Photos | Past Player of the Year Winners


Junior Girls':
Gracyn Burgess - Lexington, S.C.

Junior Boys':
Trent Phillips - Inman, S.C.

Senior Women's:
Pat Brogden - Garner, N.C.

Senior Men's:
Paul Simson - Raleigh, N.C.

Super Senior Men's:

Paul Simson - Raleigh, N.C.

Courtney McKim - Raleigh, N.C.

Scott Harvey - Greensboro, N.C.


The Richard S. Tufts Awards were created in 1997 to honor Carolinas amateur golfers who had exceptional individual tournament performances over the preceding year. Tufts served on the CGA Executive Committee from 1926 to 1964 and served as President from 1931 through 1933. The awards are given to the top golfer based on the CGA amateur rankings at the end of the calendar year in each of seven categories: Men's, Women's, Senior Men's, Super Senior Men's, Senior Women's, Junior Boys' and Junior Girls'. The Senior Men's and Senior Women's categories were implemented in 2001, while the Super Senior Men's award is new for 2017.

Award winners will be honored during Carolinas Golf Night and the CGA Annual Meeting at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

Eight Carolinas Men's Players of the Year are current or former PGA Tour members while six Carolinas Women's Players of the Year have competed on the LPGA tour. Notable past Tufts award winners include: Jonathan Byrd (1999, PGA Tour), Beth Bauer (1999, LPGA), D.J. Trahan (2000-2002, PGA Tour), Marcy Newton Hart (2000, LPGA), Brandi Jackson (2002, LPGA), Bill Haas (2003, PGA Tour), Webb Simpson (2006, PGA Tour), Dustin Johnson (2007, PGA Tour), Cydney Clanton (2009-10, LPGA), Mark Anderson (2009, PGA Tour), Austin Ernst (2011, LPGA), and Katelyn Dambaugh (2016, LPGA).

The Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' awards, started in 2003, are based on a series of tournaments run by associations that are the grassroots of junior golf in the Carolinas. Participating Carolinas associations and tournaments are the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA), Carolinas PGA (CPGA), Trusted Choice Big I Junior Classics, South Carolina Golf Association (SCGA), Women's South Carolina Golf Association (WSCGA), South Carolina Junior Golf Association (SCJGA), Tarheel Youth Golf Association (TYGA), Carolinas-Georgia Junior Championship and the Joe Cheves Junior Invitational.


2017 Richard S. Tufts Award Winners



Scott Harvey of Greensboro, N.C., claims his seventh consecutive Carolinas Men's Player of the Year award, a CGA record. "When you look at all the names that have received this award in the past, and then you consider the enormous talent of golfers there are in the Carolinas, I’m extremely honored to have earned this award at all, much less 7 Years in a row," said Harvey, a 39-year-old property manager. "It's not something that is easily won, and I am still shocked at this incredible run I have had."


Harvey currently holds the designation as the second-ranked men's mid-amateur (age 25+) in the world according to the World Amateur Golf Rankings. A highlight of his 2017 campaign was playing in his second major at the U.S. Open at Wisconsin's Erin Hills. Harvey tied for second at his sectional qualifier after posting a 9-under-par 63 in the first round at Canoe Brook Country Club's North Course in New Jersey. During a practice round at Erin Hills, he teed it up with former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk, crowd favorite Steve Stricker, and Jordan Spieth. "It was a pretty cool week, everybody I played with was fantastic to me," says Harvey, whose victory in the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur earned him a spot in the 2015 Masters.

In CGA play, Harvey picked up his second career wins at both the North Carolina Mid-Amateur and Carolinas Club Championship to match and then surpass his late father, Bill, with nine all-time CGA titles. "They have way more tournaments now than they had when dad played. If they would’ve had the Mid-Am events when he was playing, I’m sure he’d have many more wins. Dad was the best plain and simple."

His most emotional win of the season came at the prestigious George L. Coleman Invitational in April at Seminole Golf Club. Bill Harvey won the senior division of The Coleman back-to-back in 1993-’94. “We were extremely close, so to put my name on the same trophy as him is quite honestly the greatest accomplishment in golf I’ve ever had,” Harvey said. In June, Harvey defended his title in the George C. Thomas Invitational at Los Angeles Country Club in a three-hole aggregate playoff.

The 2015 South American Amateur champion and 2016 runner-up, Harvey has been selected for the fourth time as one the United States’ representatives for the event to be played in Buenos Aires, Argentina from January 13-16.


Courtney McKim of Raleigh, N.C. captures her first CGA Women’s Player of the Year award with her consistent play at regional and national events. Advancing to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur propelled her to the top of the women's rankings. "I have always admired the women who have been chosen as the Carolina's Women's Player of the Year," said McKim. "This is an elite group, and I am fortunate to now be a member of that group."


The 27-year-old McKim was a member of the University of Alabama squad that won the 2012 NCAA Women's National Championship. McKim enjoyed being part of the team selected in 2017 to represent North Carolina in the final U.S. Women's State Team Championship.


McKim, a project manager for real estate and indirect sourcing for a global medical products and technologies company, finished runner-up at the North Carolina Women's Amateur in June. She also placed 9th at both the Carolinas Women's Amateur and Women's Trans National Championship then advanced to the Round of 16 at the Carolinas Women's Match Play Championship.



Paul Simson of Raleigh, N.C. wins his ninth Senior Men’s Player of the Year award, a CGA record. Simson also secured the inaugural Super Senior Men's Player of the Year honor. Simson jumped out to an early lead for Senior Men's Player of the Year with a three-peat at the North Carolina Senior Amateur in May. He also defended his title in the Durham Senior Amateur.


Simson finished runner-up at the U.S. Senior Amateur and the North & South Senior. At age 66, Simson won the Carolinas Super Senior Championship in his first attempt. His 33 victories in CGA championships is the most all-time.


In his career, Simson has won over 200 titles, two U.S. Senior Amateurs (2010, '12) and claimed three Seniors Amateur titles (2006, '08, '10), conducted by The R&A. Simson is also a two-time CGA Men's Player of the Year winner (2005 & 2008).



Pat Brogden of Garner, N.C., earns her fifth Senior Women’s Player of the Year honor in the last seven years. "I am beyond proud to put my name beside the other multiple winners of this award," said Brogden. "You obviously have to have played well over several years to accomplish this honor."


The 63-year-old Brogden who plays golf left-handed, cross-handed, won both the North Carolina Senior Women's and Carolinas Senior Women's championships in 2017. "I think I played some of the best golf of my career this year," Brogden added. "My goal is the same every year. First, no broken bones or surgeries, then to try and play the best golf I can each tournament and hope the result takes care of itself."

Teaming with Angela Stewart, the duo claimed the Senior Division at the Carolinas Women’s Four-Ball. Brogden added another title at the Women's Eastern Senior Amateur.


"I'm most proud of my focus and consistency this year. I didn't come into every tournament playing my best but somehow found another level to be competitive.



Trent Phillips of Inman, S.C., makes history by becoming the first back-to-back Carolinas Junior Boys’ Player of the Year. "I am not one to get caught up in trophies or awards, but I am honored to have been selected for the second year in a row," said the 17-year-old Phillips. "Setting records is a really cool thing to do because records can still be around even after you have moved on."

Phillips edged North Carolina Junior Boys' champion Quinn Riley by five points in the final boys' rankings. Capping off his last year as a junior player, Phillips tallied an impressive list of wins at the SCJGA Players Championship, Beth Daniel Junior Azalea, the AJGA Haas Family Invitational, the SCGA Junior, and the Dustin Johnson World Junior. Phillips represented Team USA at the inaugural Junior President’s Cup, posting a 3-0 record. "Playing on the first ever Junior President's Cup was a major highlight," said Phillips. "It was an extremely busy week of activities with a great group of guys. The entire experience from beginning to end was amazing and something I am blessed to have been a part of." Phillips remained in the national spotlight when he qualified for the U.S. Junior and advanced to the Round of 16. 

The future Georgia Bulldog was recognized as the South Carolina Junior Golf Association's Boys' Player of the Year for the third consecutive year. "Winning the Carolinas Junior Boys' Player of the Year for the second straight year and also winning the SC Junior Boys' Player of the Year for the third year in a row cannot be left off my 2017 list of memorable achievements," Phillips added.



Gracyn Burgess of Lexington, S.C., became the first player to capture the Vicki DiSantis Junior Girls', Twin States Junior Girls', and Carolinas Junior Girls' titles in the same year. Burgess added wins at the WSCGA Junior Girls', George Holliday Junior, and six high school championships.  She came in third in the state tournament to help her team to the state title. "My 2017 junior golf year was one of my best," said Burgess. "I feel very proud to be a part a strong group of female golfers." The high school senior has committed to playing collegiately at Clemson University in the fall.


Burgess, who celebrates her 18th birthday Wednesday, was quick to extend gratitude to others. "I am thankful to my coaches, Brandi Jackson and Kevin Britt, my family and my friends that have supported me," Burgess added. "I am thankful to Maggie Watts and all the CGA staff for giving me this opportunity and for the support they have shown me over the past several years."


For the second straight year, Burgess was named the Beth Daniel Player of the Year by the South Carolina Junior Golf Association. She was also selected the inaugural recipient of the David Parrott Girls' Award, given to the Carolinas Girls' Team member who displays excellence in sportsmanship, ability, and academics.



Richard S. Tufts Player of the Year Award Winners


1997 - Cliff Cunningham, Monroe, NC

1998 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

1999 - Jonathan Byrd, Elgin, SC

2000 - D.J. Trahan, Inman, SC

2001 - D.J. Trahan, Inman, SC

2002 - D.J. Trahan, Inman, SC

2003 - Bill Haas, Greer, SC

2004 - Todd White, Moore, SC

2005 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

2006 - Webb Simpson, Raleigh, NC

2007 - Dustin Johnson, Myrtle Beach, SC

2008 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

2009 - Mark Anderson, Beaufort, SC

2010 - David Chung, Fayetteville, NC

2011 - Scott Harvey, Greensboro, NC

2012 - Scott Harvey, Greensboro, NC

2013 - Scott Harvey, Greensboro, NC

2014 - Scott Harvey, Greensboro, NC

2015 - Scott Harvey, Greensboro, NC

2016 - Scott Harvey, Greensboro, NC

2017 - Scott Harvey, Greensboro, NC


Senior Men

2001 - Robert Kulp, Winston-Salem, NC

2002 - Cliff Cunningham, Monroe, NC

2003 - Robert Kulp, Winston-Salem, NC

2004 - Robert Kulp, Winston-Salem, NC

2005 - David Strawn, Charlotte, NC

2006 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

2007 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

2008 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

2009 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

2010 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

2011 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

2012 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

2013 - Rick Cloninger, Fort Mill, SC

2014 - Rick Cloninger, Fort Mill, SC

2015 - Gary Robinson, Fayetteville, NC 

2016 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC

2017 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC


Senior Men

2017 - Paul Simson, Raleigh, NC




1997 - Brenda Corrie Kuehn, Fletcher, NC

1998 - Brenda Corrie Kuehn, Fletcher, NC

1999 - Beth Bauer, Cramer Mountain, NC

2000 - Marcy Newton Hart, High Point, NC

2001 - Brenda Corrie Kuehn, Fletcher, NC

2002 - Brandi Jackson, Belton, SC

2003 - Amber Marsh Elliott, Jamestown, NC

2004 - Patty Moore, Charlotte, NC

2005 - Maggie Simons, Raleigh, NC

2006 - Adrienne Millican, Fuquay-Varina, NC

2007 - Patty Moore, Charlotte, NC

2008 - Patty Moore, Charlotte, NC

2009 - Cydney Clanton, Concord, NC

2010 - Cydney Clanton, Concord, NC

2011 - Austin Ernst, Seneca, SC

2012 - Dawn Woodard, Greer, SC

2013 - Dawn Woodard, Greer, SC

2014 - Dawn Woodard, Greer, SC 

2015 - Lori Beth Adams, Burlington, NC

2016 - Katelyn Dambaugh, Goose Creek, SC

2017 - Courtney McKim, Raleigh, NC


Senior Women

2001 - Karen Ferree, Hilton Head Island, SC

2002 - Karen Ferree, Hilton Head Island, SC

2003 - Karen Ferree, Hilton Head Island, SC

2004 - Patty Moore, Charlotte, NC

2005 - Patty Moore, Charlotte, NC

2006 - Patty Moore, Charlotte, NC

2007 - Patty Moore, Charlotte, NC

2008 - Patty Moore, Charlotte, NC

2009 - Patty Moore, Charlotte, NC

2010 - Patty Moore, Charlotte, NC

2011 - Pat Brogden, Garner, NC

2012 - Pat Brogden, Garner, NC

2013 - Ashley Rose, North Augusta, SC

2014 - Pat Brogden, Garner, NC

2015 - Pat Brogden, Garner, NC

2016 - Kim Briele, New Bern, NC

2017 - Pat Brogden, Garner, NC


Junior Boys

2003 - Vince Hatfield, Greenwood, SC

2004 - Brad Dilen, Cary, NC

2005 - David Chung, Fayetteville, NC

2006 - McCuen Elmore, Cheraw, SC

2007 - Ben Kohles, Cary, NC

2008 - Mark Joye, Columbia, SC

2009 - Andy Knox, Cary, NC

2010 - Cody Proveaux, Leesville, SC

2011 - Carson Young, Pendleton, SC

2012 - Keenan Huskey, Greenville, SC

2013 - Tim Conover, Holly Springs, NC

2014 - Eric Bae, Pinehurst, NC

2015 - Christian Salzer, Sumter, SC

2016 - Trent Phillips, Inman, SC

2017 - Trent Phillips, Inman, SC


Junior Girls

2003 - Mallory Hetzel, Summerfield, SC

2004 - Emily Street, Forest City, NC

2005 - Amber Littman, Stoney Creek, NC

2006 - Rachel Uremovich, Hilton Head Island, SC

2007 - Haley Stephens, Greer, SC

2008 - Haley Stephens, Greer, SC

2009 - McKenzie Talbert, North Augusta, SC

2010 - McKenzie Talbert, North Augusta, SC

2011 - McKenzie Talbert, North Augusta, SC

2012 - Kelli Murphy, Elgin, SC

2013 - Reona Hirai, Summerville, SC

2014 - Jessica Spicer, Bahama, NC

2015 - Ashley Czarnecki, Greenville, SC

2016 - Emily Hawkins, Lexington, NC

2017 - Gracyn Burgess, Lexington, SC


About the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA)

The CGA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization that was founded in 1909 to promote and to protect the game of golf in the Carolinas by providing competitions, education, support and benefits to golf clubs and golfers. The CGA is the second largest golf association in the country with over 700 member clubs represented by nearly 150,000 individuals.

The CGA annually conducts 48 championships and five team match competitions for men, women, juniors, and seniors. It also runs over 150 One-Day (net and gross) events as well as qualifying for USGA national championships. The CGA serves golf in the Carolinas with numerous programs such as: the USGA Handicap System; tournament management software and support; course measuring and course/slope ratings; agronomy consultation; answers about the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, and Handicapping; Carolinas Golf Magazine; Interclub series; Tarheel Youth Golf Association; Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame; expense assistance for USGA Junior and Girls' Junior qualifiers from the Carolinas; and the Carolinas Golf Foundation (CGF). The CGF has distributed nearly $2,000,000 since 1977 to benefit Carolinas' golf initiatives including junior and women's programs.    

For more information about the CGA, visit our website.







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