Winter 2019

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16 WINTER 2019 | NCGA.ORG S H A G B A G NCGA Player of the Year— Nick Moore W hen Nick Moore won the 2018 NCGA Amateur Stroke Play Championship, he moved into a tie for third place on the all-time NCGA career win list with seven. The only two players ahead of him are NCGA Hall of Famers Casey Boyns and Randy Haag, who are tied for the No.1 spot (16 wins). Thanks to yet another solid season, Moore has joined another elite group as a multiple-winner of Player of the Year honors. The Bayonet/Black Horse GC member, who won his first title in 2015, captured his second crown by tallying NCGA Women's Player of the Year— Lucy Li F ollowing her 1-up loss on the 18th hole to Alexa Pano during the semifinals of last year's U.S. Girls' Junior Championship at Poppy Hills GC, Redwood Shores resident Lucy Li was obviously heartbroken. Not only was it a lost opportunity to win a USGA title in her home state, but Li NCGA Senior Player of the Year— Jeff Wilson O n the 18th hole in the final round of the 2018 California Senior Amateur Championship at The Preserve Golf Club, Jeff Wilson faced a potential predicament. While he held a two-shot lead, Wilson was just off the green in two, staring at a tricky, potential three putt. His nearest competitor, defending Senior Player of the Year Randy Haag, lay two just two feet from the flagstick and was in prime shape for a birdie. Just minutes later, in a moment that symbolized his season, Wilson drained the impossible-looking putt to immediately douse any chances of a Haag comeback. "There's no other amateur that does the things that Jeff does," said Haag afterwards. "The putts he made coming in were ridiculous. He was perfect. It was fun to watch." For Wilson, who finished the year with 2,530 points to win his first NCGA Player of the Year crown, it was a career season. In August, after 30-plus USGA appearances in various championships, Wilson finally got what had been an elusive USGA win (and 700 points) when he captured the U.S. Senior Amateur crown at Eugene CC in Oregon. The California Senior Amateur title was another 600 points. The Green Valley CC member also earned 500 points for making the cut at the U.S. Senior Open to defeat Haag (1,803 points) by 727 points in the standings. "I worked hard this year, harder than I ever have," said Wilson, who turned 55 last June. "The Senior Player of the Year award is icing on the cake." was the No.1 seed, having scored a championship and women's course record 9-under 62 during stroke-play qualifying. As it turned out, it was the only hiccup in what was another outstanding season for Li. The still only 16-year-old Youth on Course member tallied 1,430 points to earn her first NCGA Women's Player of the Year title. U.S. Girls' Junior Championship winner Yealimi Noh finished second at 990. "Being NCGA Player of the Year means so much to me," Li said. "I feel so honored and humbled. The NCGA has been supporting me my whole career, so it means a lot." Despite not winning the U.S. Girls' Junior, Li racked up 400 points at the event thanks to her performance. She also tallied 430 points for being medalist at the U.S. Women's Amateur, and reaching the quarterfinals. To top things off, she earned another 650 points for making the cut at the U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek Club in Alabama. "I feel like I had a good season," said Li, whose 2018 campaign also included making her debut for Team USA at the Curtis Cup. "I feel like I played solid golf." 1,604 points. His NCGA Four-Ball Championship partner and good friend, Matt Cohn, was second at 1,499. "I feel very honored to be Player of the Year again. It was definitely a goal of mine to start the year," the 36-year-old Moore said. "I felt like in 2017 my game wasn't as sharp as it could've been." According to Moore, what turned things around was his appearance at the Seaver Cup, where he helped the NCGA defeat the SCGA, 44-28. "I had so much fun with the guys," he said. "It just reminded me of why I love this game, and I'm so grateful for the friendships I've created through this amazing game." Along with his win at the NCGA Amateur Stroke Play Championship (600 points), Moore got 280 points for reaching the quarterfinals at the California Amateur and another 210 points for advancing to the Round of 16 at the NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship. He earned another 288 points via fourth-and fifth- place finishes at the NCGA Valley Am and NCGA Public Links Championship, respectively. "My most memorable moment was winning the Stroke Play with my 93-year- old grandfather riding along in the cart for all 18 holes," Moore said. "He may have been happier about that win than I was. It's a moment I'll never forget."

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