2023 Players of the Year
St. Louis, MO - After a whirlwind of a season with many new and familiar faces, the season has come to a close. Fourteen Metropolitan championships, nine USGA Qualifiers, and seven Amateur Series events later, we can reflect on the last year and tally the points. It was an extraordinary year full of memorable moments for players and staff alike. New names have been added to the trophies and the record books, but there are a few awards left to give: the Players of the Year and Host Club Awards.
Five Player of the Year Awards will be given this year: Men, Senior Men, Women, Southern Illinois, and Senior Southern Illinois. Throughout the year, players have earned points in their respective divisions based on their performance in valid championships, qualifiers, and events. Each division has a set points system for various championships, which can be found here . Players watched their rankings rise and fall following each time they stepped on the course, but only five have come out on top. Here are the 2023 Players of the Year:
Peter Weaver of Bellerive Country Club had an incredible summer to finish the year as the Men’s Player of the Year. Playing in four points qualifying events, Weaver won three of them. He began the summer with the Missouri State Amateur Championship. Weaver fought his way into the final match at Payne’s Valley Golf Course, where he would win 4 & 2 to be the Champion. He then played in the U.S. Amateur Qualifier, in which he played well enough to earn the second alternate spot. He followed up the state championship win nearly a month later with the St. Louis District Golf Association Griesedick Men’s Championship at Glen Echo Country Club. For a second time, Weaver showed he could contend in a match-play event by winning on the 22nd hole and earning another Champion title. Of course, his summer would not be complete without proving that he could also get it done in stroke-play. Weaver shot three rounds under par at Persimmon Woods Golf Club to hold off his competition by one-stroke at the Metropolitan Amateur Championship. Rounding out his summer as the Metropolitan Amateur Champion, Weaver earned the points to sit at the top of the Player of the Year standings.
Paul Neeman of Persimmon Woods Golf Club played some great golf over the summer to be the Senior Men’s Player of the Year. He started the year by battling his way to a runner-up finish in the Old Warson Cup, followed by a tied for fourth finish in the East Side Amateur Senior Division. Neeman’s next best finishes of the summer came from a T-4 finish in the Metropolitan Four-Ball with his partner Brian Hall and a T-5 finish in the Cassett Senior Championship. Racking up all of these points, he was not quite finished. At the end of July, Neeman won the City Championship with a score of six-under par. A month later, Neeman took a three-stroke lead in the Metropolitan Senior Amateur Championship at St. Clair Country Club to win the championship and leap to the top of the Senior Player of the Year leaderboard.
Kathy Glennon of the Country Club of St. Albans cut it down to the wire to scrape out a lead for the Women’s Player of the Year. Starting out the summer with a win, Glennon earned her first points through a St. Louis Women’s District Golf Association’s 3-Day Medal championship victory. She then went on to place third in the Metropolitan Women’s Amateur Championship. Glennon’s great golf did not stop there, as she continued a month later to place third in the Missouri State Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Though it did not earn her points in the player of the year contest, Glennon also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur, where she made it through stroke play and to the Round of 32 before being knocked out of the competition. Glennon’s consistent game gave her the edge needed to be the Women’s Player of the Year.
Aaron Jones of the SIGA eClub worked hard this summer to be the Southern Illinois Player of the Year. He played well enough to place tied for ninth or better in all Southern Illinois events and qualified for the Illinois State Amateur Championship. He finished tied for ninth in both the SIGA Championship and the Southern Illinois Amateur Championship. Jones started out strong early in the summer, winning the McLeansboro Amateur. He followed this with a third place finish in the Green Hills Amateur. Rounding out his summer, Jones also won the Weeks Fall Classic to scrape out enough points to lead the Southern Illinois Player of the Year standings.
Tom Portner of Green Hills Golf Club had a successful run this summer to be the Senior Southern Illinois Player of the Year. Portner raked in some points by qualifying for the Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship. In Southern Illinois events, he finished tied for second or better in all of the events he played. In the Southern Illinois Amateur, Portner shot three-under par to finish tied for second in the senior division. He also finished tied for second in the SIGA Championship Senior Division at two-over par. At the beginning of August, Portner found a win in the Weeks Fall Classic Senior Division. After playing well in each of these events, Portner finds himself on top of the Senior Southern Illinois Player of the Year leaderboard.For the Full Player of the Year leaderboards, click here .
Host Club Awards
Each year, at the end of the season, players from across the area vote on the Host Club Awards. Players choose which club - that hosted an MAGA event - they felt were the best in four categories: Host Private Facility, Host Public Facility, Host Superintendent Staff, and Host Professional Staff. This year's recipients:
Gateway National Golf Links is being awarded the Host Public Facility of the Year. In 2023, the club hosted the East Side Amateur on May 13-14, followed by the U.S. Open Local Qualifier on May 15. Across the two events, the course saw 218 golfers.
Meadowbrook Country Club is being awarded the Host Private Facility of the Year. The club hosted the 2023 U.S. Amateur Qualifier on July 17-18. The event saw 117 participants over the course of the two days.
Mike Carron (Meadowbrook Country Club) is being awarded the Host Superintendent Staff of the Year. As mentioned above, the course hosted the U.S. Amateur Qualifier. Mike and his staff had the course in top shape for the golfers, even through some rainy weather.
Eric Ratzlaff (Persimmon Woods Golf Club) is being awarded the Host Professional Staff of the Year. This year, the club hosted the Metropolitan Amateur Championship on August 3-5, as well as, the first Amateur Series Event of the season on May 1. The Amateur Championship saw 153 participants, while the Amateur Series Event saw 109 participants. Eric and his staff were gracious hosts and made sure that all were taken care of during their time at the facility.
Images from the POY Reception evening, click here.