GOLF WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA NAMES 2018 PLAYERS OF THE YEAR IN GOLF
Two Palm Beach County Pro Golfers Earn Top Honors From Golf Media
Brooks Koepka, Ariya Jutanugarn and Bernhard Langer were the best male, female, and senior golfers in 2018, as they have been named the winner of their respective Player of the Year Awards from the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA).
This was the first Player of the Year Award for Koepka, Jutanugarn’s second Player of the Year Award and the fifth overall and third straight Senior Player of the Year honor for Langer.
Koepka grew up in Wellington, attended Wellington Christian School in Wellington, and graduated from Cardinal Newman High School, and then attended Florida State University where he earned All-American honors. Koepka now lives in Jupiter. Langer is a longtime resident of Boca Raton.
Despite missing nearly four months at the beginning of 2018 due to a wrist injury, Koepka produced a spectacular season that earned him the GWAA award. After finishing last in his first start of 2018 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Koepka was diagnosed with a partially torn tendon in his left wrist. He sat out the Masters and did not return to competition until late April.
Koepka won three times in 2018 — the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges in South Korea. He is currently the number one ranked golfer in the world, based on the Official World Golf Rankings, as of January 3.
The 28-year old Koepka is just the fifth player to win both the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship in the same year. He also became the first player since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 to win consecutive U.S. Open titles. Keopka will be looking for a three-peat at this year’s U.S. Open which will be held at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California from June 13-16. The last golfer to win three U.S. Opens in a row was Scotland’s Willie Anderson from 1903-05.
“It’s incredible any time you can win Player of the Year. That’s pretty cool. Whether it’s by your peers or the writers, anybody that takes notice of what you’re doing, I think, it’s pretty special,” added Koepka. “Obviously last year was pretty special and it was pretty unique and incredible for me. I hope to follow it up this year and try to build on that.”
Jutanugarn won three times including the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open while earning Rolex Player of the Year honors on the LPGA Tour.
She dominated women’s professional golf, capturing the Race to the CME Globe, the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average, and the season-long money title. She also set single season records for most rounds in the 60s (57) and the most birdies (470).
“It is a huge honor for me to win this prestigious award for a second time, and I’m really excited about that,” said Jutanugarn.
Langer won twice on the Champions Tour in 2018 to increase his career victory total to 38, second-most in Champions Tour history. He also had six second-place finishes and 14 top-10s in his 24 starts.
“It is a great honor and wonderful recognition to have been voted Senior Player of the Year 2018 by the GWAA and I very much look forward to receiving the Award,” commented Langer.
Koepka, Jutanugarn and Langer will receive their awards at the 47th ISPS HANDA GWAA Annual Awards Dinner presented by The PGA of America and USGA on Wednesday, April 10 on the eve of the Masters in Augusta, Georgia.