Winter 2018

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NCGA.ORG | WINTER 2018 17 Tournament Official of the Year–Michael Sheragy A s he neared retirement, 71-year-old Fowler resident Michael Sheragy began thinking about how he'd spend his extra time. T hen fraternity brother and former NCGA P resident Lee Gidney entered the picture. " Lee talked to me about becoming a tournament official," Sheragy said. "I decided it was something I wanted to do." A single-digit handicap player himself, Sheragy instantly got hooked. He's now been an NCGA tournament official for over 12 years. "I love playing golf. Being a Rules official i s just as much fun. You get to use your mind so much," Sheragy said. Among the things Sheragy most enjoys is helping players understand the Rules— hopefully before it's too late. He also feels a kinship with the NCGA. "Being a member of the NCGA is something special. It's great what the NCGA does for amateur golf," Sheragy said. "To be a part of the NCGA is very special." Course Rater of the Year– Ed Hashim I n a twist of irony, it took a tournament official to get 67-year-old Fresno resident Ed Hashim to become a NCGA course rater. "A friend of mine who was a tournament official talked me into volunteering," Hashim said. Having made the decision to dive in, Hashim sent in a tournament official application to the NCGA's Vaughn Kezirian. Kezirian, however, suggested Hashim be a course rater instead. A course rater for the NCGA over 10 years running, Hashim rated over 22 courses in 2017. Among the things he loves about his duty is the friendships he's made with other course raters and NCGA staff members including Director of Course Rating and Handicapping Jim Cowan and Assistant Director of Course Rating Jeremy Gray. "I have a passion for golf and being on the course," Hashim said. "Being a rater, you get to see what makes up the slope and ratings. You get to go inside the course numbers." The NCGA expresses its gratitude to all of its tournament officials and course raters. Without you, it all doesn't happen! Senior Women's Player of the Year— Lynne Cowan I n 2016, Lynne Cowan had to mount a huge comeback en route to winning Senior Women's Player of the Year honors. This time, it was the 55-year-old Sierra View CC member who was the one everyone else was chasing. Cowan, who resides in Rocklin, made it two in a row after yet another solid year. She finished the season with 1,050 points. Coming in second was Olympic Club member and former Curtis Cup captain Pat Cornett at 838. "I'm honored to have my name on the Player of the Year trophy for the second year," Cowan said. "I hope that my accomplishments in Northern California inspire other women to continue to play and compete at high levels." In May, Cowan made her first big move with a second-place finish at the annual California Senior Women's Amateur Championship at Quail Lodge Resort. A month later, she captured the NCGA Senior Women's Amateur by an eye-popping nine shots. With the victory, Cowan, not only joined Cornett as the only players to win back-to-back titles, but also tied Cornett for the most Senior Women's crowns. The win also marked Cowan's 11th career NCGA or California Women's Amateur title, which moved her past Marianne Towersey in that category. In September, Cowan earned another 210 points by reaching the Round of 16 at the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur. She also helped represent California in the final U.S. Women's State Team Championship. Super Senior Player of the Year— Gary Vanier T hese days, California Golf Hall of Famer Gary Vanier spends a majority of his time fishing in Idaho. Still, the now 67-year-old remains a force in the amateur golf circle. Vanier won his second straight NCGA Super Senior Player of the Year title, finishing the season with 1,557 points. Placing second was Woodbridge GCC member Chuck Richesin at 1,384. "Obviously, it's a great honor to have," said Vanier, who's the only player in NCGA history to have won both Senior Player of the Year and Super Senior Player of the Year honors. "When I look back at all the things I've done, I'm most satisfied that I've won tournaments for 50 years." In 13 overall starts, the Stanford alum had eight top-5 finishes. He started his season by finishing third at the 2016 NCGA Super Senior Championship. At the 2017 Super Senior Championship, Vanier defeated Jim Knoll in extra holes, becoming the first two- time winner of the championship. The victory was also Vanier's ninth as an NCGA senior, tying him with Jim McMurtrey for the No.1 spot on the career NCGA senior win list. Other highlights of Vanier's season include a win at the San Francisco City Senior and runner-up finishes at the NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship and Sacramento County Senior Championship.

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