NJPGA/NJSGA Gather for 17th Annual Celebration of Golf
2021 NJSGA Men's Senior Player of the Year, Kevin Purcell and NJSGA President, Michael McFadden
SUMMIT, N.J. – The 2021 New Jersey State Golf Association competitive golf season officially concluded as fellow competitors and guests enjoyed an evening at Canoe Brook Country Club for the 17th Annual NJPGA/NJSGA Celebration of Golf on October 28. After a one year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the special event was conducted for the first time since 2019.
“I’m overwhelmed to see how many people are in this room tonight,” expressed Kevin Purcell, NJSGA Executive Director.
“This is great to have everybody here and we all missed it last year because of COVID-19,” stated NJSGA President, Michael McFadden. “I think everybody in this room recognizes with COVID, there’s a silver lining as with everything, what has happened to golf, not just in New Jersey but all over the country, golf has gotten better.”
Both the 2020 and 2021 NJSGA Player of the Year Awards were recognized.
The prestigious Player of the Year awards are presented annually to an amateur in each division who compiles the most outstanding playing record based on a system in which players earn points for strong finishes in designated events.
Michael Brown, of Rock Spring Golf Club earned the Robert Housen Men’s Player of the Year award after putting together a stellar golf season. Brown compiled 870 points to collect his first New Jersey Player of the Year honor. Most notably, he won 120th New Jersey State Amateur Championship presented by Provident Bank at Essex Fells. Well-tuned, Brown went on to finish as the second low amateur and fourth overall in the 101st New Jersey State Open just a few weeks later at Spring Brook Country Club. Brown, 48, also qualified for the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2021.
Ami Gianchandani was tabbed Women’s Player of the Year after capturing the 96th New Jersey Women’s Amateur Championship along with the Lincoln Women’s Metropolitan Open. Additionally, Gianchandani, a Yale student-athlete qualified for the U.S. Women’s Four-Ball Championship on October 21, 2021 at Echo Lake Country Club alongside teammate Kaitlyn Lee.
NJSGA Executive Director Kevin Purcell rounds out Player of the Year accolades, earning Men’s Senior Player of the Year for the first time. Purcell of Forest Hill Field Club collected a stretch of consistent finishes, highlighted by a victory at the 26th New Jersey Senior Four Ball Championship at Green Brook Country Club. He also picked up a pair of third place finishes at the 63rd New Jersey Senior Amateur and the 8th Annual Schiavone Memorial Cup, respectively.
Spring Brook Country Club was named NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Club of the Year. The Morristown private club has consistently been among the top total contributors and a par club member for the foundation. Over the last 15 years, Spring Brook has raised an impressive $425,000. Additionally, Spring Brook established the Chris McAndrew Memorial Scholarship in honor of longtime Caddie Manager.
An abundance of awards between the NJPGA and NJSGA were presented on Thursday evening.
Honey Gantner Award: Coleen Luker
Robert Housen Men’s Player of the Year: Michael Brown, Rock Spring Golf Club
Women’s Player of the Year: Ami Gianchandani, Watchung Valley Golf Club
Men’s Senior Player of the Year: Kevin Purcell, Forest Hill Field Club
NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Club of the Year: Spring Brook Country Club
PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Tom Flatt, Edgewood Country Club
Assistant Golf Professional of the Year: Matt Hardy, Canoe Brook Country Club
Youth Player Development Award: Katie Rudolph
Salesperson of the Year: Brendan Ritcher, Titleist
Bill Strausbaugh Award, Tom Flatt
Teacher of the Year: Ryan Hager
Club of the Year: Hamilton Farm Golf Club
Merchandiser of the Year: Chris McDermott, Picatinny Golf Club
Merchandiser of the Year (Private): Pat Fillian
Deacon Palmer Award: Greg Baker, Rockaway River Country Club
Player Development Award: Rylee Plitz, Eagle Ridge Golf Club
PGA Professional Development Award: Chris Dymeck
Patriot Award: Ed Walls, Renaissance Country Club
NJPGA 39th Hall of Fame Inductee: Mark McCormick, Suburban Golf Club
NJPGA 40th Hall of Fame Inductee: Jim McGovern, White Beeches Golf & Country Club