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Introducing the 2022 Carolinas Players of the Year


SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (February 7, 2023) -- The CGA is proud to announce the 2022 recipients of the Richard S. Tufts Players of the Year Awards. These seven golfers have excelled in their field and had the most successful year in amateur golf at the local, regional, state and national levels.

Related: Past Champions

2022 Richard S. Tufts Award Winners

Junior Girls': Macy Pate - Winston-Salem, N.C.

Junior Boys': Carson Bertagnole - Pinehurst, N.C.

Women's: Jessica Spicer - Bahama, N.C.

Men's: Caleb Surratt - Indian Trail, N.C.    

Senior Women's: Kathy Hartwiger - Pinehurst, N.C.

Senior Men's: Steve Harwell - Mooresville, N.C.

Super Senior Men's: Steve Fox - Pinehurst, N.C.


This year marks the second consecutive year of Macy Pate of Winston-Salem, N.C. earning both the illustrious North Carolina Junior Girls’ and Carolinas Junior Girls’ Player of the Year titles. She is the first player in CGA history to ever do so.

In the 18 events Pate played in 2022, she captured victories in five of them including the CGA’s 5th Hope Valley Invitational, the Sea Pines Junior Invitational and the 14th Peggy Kirk Bell Golf Tour Invitational. During the future Demon Deacon’s 2022 campaign, she collected 13 top-10 finishes out of her 18 starts.

The five-time CGA Champion made a run on the national level, first by earning medalist honors at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship Qualifier at Forest Oaks Country Club. Then she battled her way through stroke play and the Round of 64 to make it to the Round of 32 in the U.S. Girls’ Junior at The Club at Olde Stone. Pate will begin her collegiate career in the fall at Wake Forest University.



Carson Bertagnole of Pinehurst, N.C., set the tone for his triumphant 2022 on the junior golf circuit with a big win at the first CGA Junior Championship of the year. Bertagnole bagged the 3rd HV3 Invitational in style after winning a two-hole playoff with Harold Varner III there to celebrate his first CGA Championship title.

Bertagnole went on to bring home the hardware at the TYGA Wedgewood Shootout and AJGA Junior at 12 Oaks within just three weeks of his HV3 Invitational win. Those three wins added to the Pinecrest High School sophomore’s impressive record of 16 top-10 finishes in his 24 events played in 2022. Earning runner-up at the 10th Creed Junior Boys’ Invitational and a third place finish at the 73rd Carolinas Junior Boys’ Championship helped Bertagnole ascend to the top of the Carolinas Junior Boys’ Rankings to secure his Player of the Year title.



Jessica Spicer of Bahama, N.C., had been knocking on the door of the Carolinas Women’s Match Play Championship for years, with two runner-up finishes on her resume. In 2022, she clinched the hard-fought victory and also clinched her first Carolinas Women’s Player of the Year honor. Although, this is not Spicer’s first time in the winner’s circle. The five-time CGA Champion earned the Carolinas Junior Girls’ Player of the Year honor in 2014.

The recent Virginia Tech graduate and her twin sister, Sarah Spicer, are tried and true four-ball partners who captured the 2021 Carolinas Women’s Four-Ball title together. In 2022 they took on the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and made it all the way to the Round of 16 at the first USGA Championship hosted in Puerto Rico. Spicer earned runner-up at the Donna Andrews Invitational and collected a top-10 finish at the Sea Island Women’s Amateur to round out her impressive season. 



In 2022, Caleb Surratt of Indian Trail, N.C., graduated from high school and began his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee. He made history this year as the first player to earn the Carolinas Junior Boys’ Player of the Year and Carolinas Men’s Player of the Year awards back-to-back. 

Surratt made a name for himself on the national level time and time again in 2022, beginning with the U.S. Junior Amateur. Surratt claimed runner-up in the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, which did not count towards his Men’s Player of the Year points, but did help him qualify for countless events that led towards this honor.

The Tennessee Volunteer captured the Terra Cotta Invitational, took home third at the Northeast Amateur and earned two other top-five finishes at the Southern Amateur and Sunehanna Amateur. Surratt also gained the opportunity to play in the U.S. Amateur Championship in August. Finally, the North Carolina native sealed his historic campaign by making the cut at the PGA Tour Bermuda Championship in late October, which helped him to secure the Carolinas Men’s Player of the Year honor.



Kathy Hartwiger of Pinehurst, N.C., is a new, strong force in the Carolinas golf world. She moved to Pinehurst in the summer of 2022 from Birmingham, Alabama, bringing the competition with her. In just five months of living in the Carolinas, the 2002 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion captured the 24th Carolinas Senior Women’s Amateur, Pinehurst’s North & South Senior Women’s Amateur and the Women’s Eastern Senior Amateur. Earning runner-up at the Women’s Southern Senior Amateur added to her many accomplishments in 2022. 

The newly-minted CGA Champion made a deep run in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur to the Semifinals and also made the match play cut in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur marked Hartwiger’s 25th USGA Championship appearance and second as a Carolinian. The decorated golfer is a four-time Alabama Golf Association Women’s Player of the Year and two-time Senior Women’s Player of the Year. Hartwiger’s impressive 2022 season was worthy of her sixth player of the year award in Alabama, where she lived for part of the year, and her first Carolinas Senior Women’s Player of the Year honor.



Steve Harwell of Mooresville, N.C., is a two-time Carolinas Senior Amateur Champion after his triumphant, nail-biting victory in 2022, which led to his second Carolinas Senior Men’s Player of the Year honor. 

Harwell impressed on the international level, collecting a tie for eighth at the British Senior Amateur and making it to the Round of 64 at the U.S. Senior Amateur. In the Carolinas, he earned runner-up in the North Carolina Senior Amateur, finished in a tie for third at the CPGA North Carolina Senior Open and tied for tenth at the North Carolina Senior Four-Ball. Overall the five-time CGA Champion recorded nine top-10 finishes to raise him atop the Carolinas Senior Men’s Rankings to earn his second Carolinas Senior Men’s Player of the Year award. 



Steve Fox of Pinehurst, N.C., had a year for the books taking home the hardware at the CPGA N.C. Senior Open and Golfweek Senior National Championship. Fox finished in the top 10 in 11 out of the 13 events he competed in 2022. Fox moved to the Carolinas in the fall of 2021 from West Virginia. During Fox’s time in West Virginia, he earned the WVGA Men’s Player of the Year honor twice and the Senior Men’s Player of the Year honor an astounding nine times.

In Carolinas events this year, Fox tied for fourth in the North Carolina Senior Four-Ball, tied for fifth in the North Carolina Senior Amateur and earned sixth place in the Carolinas Super Senior Four-Ball. A tie for third at the Ralph Bogart Super Senior in December marked Fox’s 2022 season with an exclamation point as he earned his first Carolinas Super Senior Men’s Player of the Year honor.


About the Richard S. Tufts Awards

The Richard S. Tufts Awards were created in 1997 to honor the 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 seven categories: Girls’, Boys’, Women's, Men's, Senior Women's, Senior Men’s and Super Senior Men's. The Senior Men's and Senior Women's categories were implemented in 2001, the Junior categories were established in 2003, and the Super Senior Men's award was created in 2017.

Nine Carolinas Men's Players of the Year are current or former PGA Tour members while eight Carolinas Women's Players of the Year have and are competing 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), Katelyn Dambaugh (2016, LPGA), Anna Redding (2018, LPGA), Gina Kim (2019, LPGA).


About the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA)

The CGA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1909 to promote and 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 and qualifying for USGA national championships. In addition, 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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