Minnesota Golf Association

MGA Annual Awards Banquet Oct. 29 at Oak Ridge Country Club

October 25, 2018

The MGA's 118th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner will be held on Oct. 29 at the Oak Ridge Country Club in Hopkins, Minn. 

EDINA, Minn. (Oct. 25, 2018) – The Minnesota Golf Association’s 118th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner will be held on Monday, Oct. 29, at Oak Ridge Country Club in Hopkins. The evening’s highlights include:  recognition of the MGA Players of the Year (in six categories), the MGA Fritz Corrigan Evans Scholar of the Year, five inductees into the MGA-PGA Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame, the MGA’s President’s Award (Volunteer of the Year), and the MGA Member Club of the Year.  

“The awards banquet is an opportunity to recognize our faithful volunteers for their accomplishments and their very positive impact on the game of golf, as well as, celebrate our players of the year and amateur champions from all our competitions,” says Barb Hanson, MGA president. 

Hanson, whose term as president ends at the conclusion of the evening program, says the association is focused on the future, and poised to deliver on its mission of serving all golfers in Minnesota. 

In this biennial year, the MGA introduces a new slate of officers led by incoming president, Tom Smith, of Lakeville, incoming vice president, Mike Malone, of Edina, and incoming secretary/treasurer, Ede Rice, also of Edina.   

MGA Players of the Year
By design, MGA Players of the Year achieve the honor by consistently playing at the top of their games. Since 1975 the MGA has awarded player points for top finishes in MGA and allied association championships, as well as select regional, national and international events. Notable Minnesota golf champions who have achieved MGA Player of the Year honors in their respective categories include:  John Harris, the 1993 U.S. Amateur champion, Hilary (Homeyer) Lunke, the 2003 U.S. Women’s Open champion, siblings Tim Herron and Alissa (Herron) Super, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour and the 1999 USGA Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, respectively, and Sammy Schmitz, who qualified for the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and won it in dramatic fashion by making a rare double-eagle (ace) on the 33rd hole.  

The players listed in the following categories have earned the distinction, the 2018 MGA Player of the Year:  

MGA Men’s Player of the Year Ben Greve, (517.50 points).  Greve, 37, of Golden Valley, is a member of the Olympic Hills Golf Club. He finished runner-up to Sammy Schmitz at the MGA Player’s Championship, and finished in the top ten at two of Minnesota’s most important stroke-play championships: the State Open, where he tied for third place, and the MGA Amateur Championship, where he tied for 10th place. Greve qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship, where he was involved in an historic 24-man playoff to advance to match play (he did not advance), and the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship (with partner Matthew Gibb).   
This is Greve’s first MGA Player of the Year honor.  

Women’s Player of the Year Olivia Herrick, (580 points).  Herrick, 30, of Roseville, is a member of Dellwood Country Club. She won twice this season with first-place finishes at the Minnesota Women’s State Open and the MGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, and she came close to winning three more times: as runner-up to Taylor Ledwein at the MGA Women’s Match Play Championship, and two second-place finishes at the MGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball (with partner Natalie Roth), and at the MGA Mixed Amateur Team (with partner Trent Peterson). Herrick qualified for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, where she reached the second round of match play, and she was a sectional qualifier at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship (with partner Samantha Sommers).  
This is Herrick’s fifth MGA Women’s Player of the Year honor. 

Senior Women’s Player of the Year Leigh Klasse, (422.50 points).  Klasse, 59, of Woodbury, is a member of the Keller Golf Club. This is her ninth consecutive Senior Women’s Player of the Year title thanks to a first-place finish at the MGA’s Women’s Senior Amateur Championship, a win at the MGA Women’s Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship (with partner Lynn Anderson), and for reaching the round-of-16 matches at the U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur Championship. Klasse reached the semifinal matches at the MGA Women’s Senior Amateur Match Play, tied for third place at the MGA Mixed Amateur Team Championship (with partner JT Johnson), and tied for fifth place at the MGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship (with partner Betsy Aldrich). She was also a sectional qualifier for the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open. 
This is Klasse’s ninth consecutive MGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year honor, her 13th title overall.  

Senior Men’s Player of the Year Jerry Rose, (400 points). Rose, 60, of Alexandria, is a member of Alexandria Golf Club. Rose reached the semifinals and round of 32, respectively, at the MGA Senior Players’ and MGA Players’ championships. He took fourth place at the MGA Mid-Amateur Championship, while also finishing as the low senior. With partner Jim Lehman, he tied for third place at the MGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship and finished in second place at the MGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship, the latter after losing a playoff. Rose tied for 19th place at the MGA Senior Amateur Championship, and earned player points for qualifying for the Minnesota State Open and the MGA Amateur Championship. A highlight for Rose’s competitive season was reaching the quarterfinals at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.   
This is Rose’s second consecutive MGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year honor.  

Junior Player of the Year Calab VanArragon, (350 points). VanArragon, 17, of Blaine, is a member of Bunker Hills Golf Club. He took first place at the Minnesota State Junior Boys’ Championship, and he finished second at the MPGA Public Links Championship. VanArragon finished 4th and 5th, respectively, at the Minnesota Golf Champions and the Minnesota PGA Junior Boys’ Championship, and he finished 10th and 21st, respectively, at the Minnesota State Open and the MGA Amateur Championship. 
This is VanArragon’s first MGA Player of the Year award. 

Junior Girls’ Player of the Year Sophia Yoemans, (405 points). Yoemans, 18, of Red Wing, is a member of Mississippi National Golf Links. She earned two wins this season: the Minnesota State High School League Class AA Tournament and the Minnesota PGA Junior Girls’ Championship, and she tied for second place at the MGA Women’s Amateur Championship. Yoemans finished in fifth place at the Minnesota Women’s State Open, and she was a sectional qualifier at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. 
This is Yoemans’ second consecutive MGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year honor.  

A complete list of player points can be found at http://www.mngolf.org/playerpoints.

Additional Award Winners
Awards for the MGA Fritz Corrigan Evans Scholar of the Year, the MGA Member Club of the Year and the MGA’s President’s Award (Volunteer of the Year) will be announced during the evening program on Oct. 29. In addition, five inductees to the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame will be recognized: Kelly (Varty) Burley, of Elk River, and, posthumously, Harold Bend, Art and Herb Cohrs, and Howie Johnson.  

The awards program begins at 5:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Anne Mullen at the MGA office 952-345-3969.  

About Oak Ridge Country Club
Oak Ridge has been an active supporter of amateur golf and MGA championships since the early 1950s. During the latter half of the 20th Century, Oak Ridge hosted numerous MGA amateur competitions including a Senior Amateur, two State Amateur and six Four-Ball championships. The Club hosted the inaugural 1962 MGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship, and donated the original championship trophy. More recently, Oak Ridge hosted the 2018 MGA Amateur Four-Ball, the 2014 MGA/PGA Cup Matches, an MGA Players’ Championship (Match Play) and two additional Four-Ball championships. In addition, Oak Ridge has hosted several MGA Senior Tour events, MGA Junior Team qualifiers, MGA Member Days and many USGA men’s and women’s amateur and open qualifiers. 

About the MGA
Established in 1901, with the formation by seven golf clubs to organize the state’s most prestigious and storied golf championship, the MGA Amateur Championship, the Minnesota Golf Association is today the governing body over amateur golf in the state, responsible for administering the Rules of Golf, and committed to upholding and promoting the game of golf and its values for all golfers in Minnesota. 

The MGA conducts 20 major amateur championships and 15 USGA qualifying events each year. Thanks to the support of its member clubs and associate members and the efforts of its volunteers and staff, the MGA provides a variety of services such as handicapping, course rating and measuring, an online golf news and information resource, www.mngolf.org, and an official publication, Minnesota Golfer magazine, which benefit all golfers throughout Minnesota. 

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