PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
ARMSTRONG, FLY, SCHUBERT, HECK AMONG PLAYERS HONORED FOR 2017 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Dawson Armstrong of Brentwood is the 2017 Tennessee Amateur Player of the Year after a season of nationwide travels highlighted by his quarterfinal finish at the U.S. Amateur.
While completing his junior year at Lipscomb University, Armstrong had an outstanding spring season, with four wins, capped off by winning the Southeast NCAA Regional hosted by The Grove. Armstrong set an NCAA record for the course with his 65 in the second round and finished 16that the NCAA Championships.
The 2016 Tennessee Amateur Player of the Year was then ready to hit the road for the rigorous summer schedule of elite amateur golf. A quick trip over to Memphis netted Armstrong a 17thplace finish at U.S. Open Sectional (second stage) qualifying. While falling short of the goal to play in the U.S. Open, Armstrong felt confident in his abilities after playing alongside PGA Tour players and headed to the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur and Northeast Amateur, where he finished 13thand 18th, respectively.
Armstrong then set out for familiar territory at the Western Amateur, where he captured the 2015 championship. This time he would make the Round of 16 before losing to the ultimate winner Norman Xiong.
After the Western, played in the U.S. Amateur. Armstrong started out hot with a first-round 68 at Bel-Air Country Club. Round two, at Riviera, the host site for match play, proved to be more difficult, and after a second round of 75, Armstrong was the 50thseed heading into the match play format. He won three matches at Riviera before falling in the quarterfinals.
“To win the TGA’s Player of the Year award is a tremendous honor, and to do it twice is so special to me as I look toward a professional career,” Armstrong said.
Tennessee Senior Amateur Player of the Year
Buzz Fly of Memphis put together an excellent season of statewide, national, and international golf.
Kicking off the 2017 season, Fly picked up a win on his home course at the TPGA’s Classic hosted by Spring Creek Ranch and followed that up a month later with an 11th-place finish at the Tennessee Senior State Open.
A semifinal finish at the Tennessee Senior Four-Ball and a win at the TPGA’s Players set Fly up for a second half season not to be forgotten.
Fly capitalized on the biggest stages, playing some of his best golf when it mattered most. Fly traveled to Sunningdale for the R&A’s Senior Amateur Championship, and after three brilliant rounds of play, finished ninth. Shortly thereafter it was back stateside for the Tennessee Senior Match Play Championship, where Fly reached the semifinals before losing to 2016 champion Bob Rice.
Fly then headed to the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis for the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, claiming the No. 8 seed after stroke play qualifying. Fly was defeated in the Round of 64, then traveled to Kanawaki for the Canadian Senior Amateur Championship, where he finished eighth.
Fly closed out the 2017 season at Chattanooga Golf & Country Club with a runner-up finish to three-time TGA Senior Amateur winner Danny Green.
Fly was selected as captain for the Amateur ream for the Tennessee Challenge Cup Matches hosted by The Honors Course, where he received his Senior Amateur Player of the Year Award at the Match’s awards dinner. Fly’s Amateur Team was victorious, 15-9, to cap off a great 2017.
Women’s Amateur Player of the Year
Sophia Schubert of Oak Ridge and the University of Texas won the 2017 US Women’s Amateur. Schubert also made it to the semifinals of the Women’s Western Amateur.
In addition to winning the Tennessee Golf Association’s Women’s Player of the Year, Schubert has competed in The Evian Championship and will have the opportunity to compete in the ANA Inspiration, the U.S. Women’s Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
“For the next calendar year, [winning the Amateur is] a life-changing event,” said Schubert’s swing instructor, Knoxville-based Brad Rose. “It will get her into four of the five LPGA majors. It’s an opportunity to test her game against the best players in the world, and at a young age. And if she has success, then she really wipes away the doubt in her own mind that she can compete with the best in the world.”
“Golf has opened so many doors for me,” Schubert said, “given me opportunities that I never would have had. Some of the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been. It’s just been an incredible experience. I’m excited to see where else it can take me.”
Senior Women’s Player of the Year
Lynda Wimberly of Brentwood defended her title at the 2017 TGA Women’s Senior Amateur, and played her way in to the quarterfinals of the TGA Women’s Amateur.
She also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur and finished in the top 20 of the North & South Senior Women’s Championship. This is the third TGA Senior Player of the Year honor for Wimberly.
Boys TGA Junior Player of the Year
Bryce Lewis’s outstanding season was highlighted by a, record-breaking score of 14-under-par (202) and victory at the AJGA Under Armour/Scott Stallings Championship played in Oak Ridge.
Other accomplishments for the Hendersonville native include his Tennessee Junior PGA Championship victory at Temple Hills Country Club with a 9-under-par (135) score (highlighted by an opening-round 64).
He also posted second-place finishes at the Sneds Tour Elite Series Championship played at Black Creek Club and the Wally Championship at Old Hickory Country Club. He also qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Riviera Country Club and Bel-Air Country Club in California.
Lewis is a senior at Hendersonville High School and will play college golf at Middle Tennessee.
Girls TGA Junior Player of the Year
Rachel Heck of Memphis is the first player to win this award three years in a row (2015, 2016, 2017).
Just a few highlights to her amazing 2017 season include her one-stroke victory at the AJGA Rolex Girls’ Championship with a score of 10-under-par. Heck racked up top-five finishes in multiple AJGA invitational events. She was chosen the 2017 AJGA Girls’ Player of the Year. Heck also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship, where she finished tied for 33rdas a 15-year-old.
Rachel finished tied for third in the Canadian Amateur, then earned her way to the Round of 64 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. She also went on to lead her school, St. Agnes Academy, to yet another state title and claimed medalist honors by 11 strokes. Rachel is currently a sophomore at St. Agnes Academy and has committed to play at Stanford.