21 February 2007
Trevor Immelman was named SA Golf Digest Player of the Year in December. Now another South African publication, Compleat Golfer, has concurred with that decision, naming Immelman its Golfer of the Year. The award caps a fine 12 months for the world number 13.
Immelman really made his mark in the US in 2006, enjoying a superb year on the PGA Tour. He was named Rookie of the Year after finishing ninth on the money list, and also secured his first win on the Tour with victory in the Cialis Western Open.
Apart from that victory, Immelman came close to other wins twice, as he lost in a playoff to Jim Furyk in the Wachovia Championship and finished runner-up in the EDS Byron Nelson Championship.
His earnings of over US$4-million were a record for a rookie. They were also enough to keep him just ahead of tenth-placed Ernie Els and eleventh-placed Retief Goosen on the money list.
Five-Star Golf Club awards
Compleat Golfer also announced its Five-Star Golf Club awards, with recognition going to the following South African layouts: Pezula Championship Course, Royal Johannesburg & Kensington, Sun City, Pecanwood, Fancourt, Leopard Creek, Arabella Country Club, Country Club Johannesburg, De Zalze, Steenberg, Erinvale, Atlantic Beach, Selborne, and Prince’s Grant.
Golf Digest’s top 10 saw Leopard Creek Golf Estate and C.C named number one for the third year in succession. Following the Malelane course was the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City, The Links at Fancourt, Durban Country Club, Arabella Estate and Golf Club, the Wild Coast Sun Country Club, Glendower Golf Club, The River Club, George Golf Club, and Pecanwood Golf and Country Club.
Bobby Locke Trophy winner
Mohammed Tayod picked up Compleat Golfer’s award for the Sunshine Tour’s Leading Rookie, receiving the Bobby Locke Trophy. Former winners include Immelman, Retief Goosen, David Frost and Charl Schwartzel.
Schwartzel, who gave up his position in the WGC Accenture World Matchplay Championships in order to chase his third Sunshine Tour Order of Merit title at the Telkom PGA Championship this weekend, received the Gary Player Trophy for the leading stroke average on tour. He also won the Syd Brews Trophy for winning the 2005/06 Order of Merit.
The Ladies Amateur Golfer of the Year award was shared by the South African team of Ashleigh Simon, Kelli Shean, Stacy Bregman and Sandra Winter (non-playing captain), who captured the Espirito Trophy for winning the World Amateur Team Championships in Stellenbosch in October.
Among the other award winners, Sunshine Tour pro Kevin Stone, who took victory in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour at Pezula in 2006, was named PGA Club Pro Champion of the Year, while Dale Hayes received a Lifetime Achievement award for services and support of the PGA.
Branden Grace was named Men’s Amateur Golfer of the Year, while Junior Golfer of the Year went to Rhys West, and Ben van Zyl won the Nedbank Disabled Golfer of Year award.
Two men were recognised for their Contribution to Golf. Robbie Marshall, co-founder and CEO of Golf Data, who has spent 25 years in golf course design, was recognised along with the late Sid Brews, who won the South African Open eight times. Brews’ son Harry accepted the award on his behalf.