The SNGA handed out its players of the year awards for 2019 following the 2020 Tournament of Champions golf tournament held Feb. 3, 2020, at DragonRidge Country Club. Also honored were volunteers, facilty, member club and media partner of the year. –by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
Championship: Daren Johnson
Daren Johnson dethroned Ed Fryatt for the Player of the Year title in the Championship Division. Fryatt had won the award the past four years.
“If you’re talking about guys like Brady Exber and Ed Fryatt, that’s great company to be with,” Johnson said. “Winning this means all those late night and early morning practice sessions paid off.”
Johnson played in 16 events in 2019 and came away with three victories including the Nevada State Mid-Am, the CasaBlanca Amateur and the season-ending SNGA Winter Classic.
Johnson finished with 1,346.5 points, 338.5 points ahead of Fryatt.
“I had some so-so starts and didn’t kick it in gear until later in the year,” he said. “But I was competitive enough early that I was close enough to be in the running late.”
Now, there’s 2020 to chase.
“I would certainly like to repeat,” he said. “I just want to play consistently and keep that edge.”
Net: George Yocum
George Yocum posted a pair of victories in June to take control of the Net Division.
He posted 943.67, beating Todd Kirby by 275.33 points.
Yocum won at Reflection Bay in early June as well as posting another victory the last week of June at the Southern Nevada Amateur at Las Vegas Paiute.
He added the Nevada State Amateur crown in August to his resume and his points total.
“It was a pretty awesome summer,” Yocum said. “There were times I played well and someone else just played better. This year everything just worked out.”
Senior: Todd Roberts
Todd Roberts edged John Turk by 82 points (1,382 to 1,300) for the Senior Player of the Year title. It was Roberts’ second straight crown.
Roberts won the final two events of the year, the SNGA Tour Championship at Rio Secco and the SNGA Winter Classic, to overtake Turk for the Player of the Year honor.
Roberts had seven wins this past season–as well as a net event for a total of eight wins.
“It was a weird year,” Roberts said. “I wasn’t clicking on all cylinders. I was disappointed not to win the state senior amateur and then I didn’t win a major. I pulled it out (the Player of the Year honor) by winning the last two events and that made it all worthwhile.”
Roberts said there’s no doubt he’s looking at winning three in a row.
“Absolutely,” he said. “That’s always a goal.”
Senior Net: Jim Licausi
Jim Licausi made the most of a limited number of starts, winning the Senior Net title despite playing just four events.
Winning the 2019 Nevada State Senior Net title in August put him over the top as he beat Gordon Schiring by just five points, 870-865.
Licausi added a second and a third in two of his other starts.
Silver: Kevin Parrish
Kevin Parrish won three times in 2019 and finished with 1,129.33 points in winning the Silver Player of the Year title. He beat Patrick Woerner, who also had three wins, by 367.33 points for the crown.
Parrish won in early February at Primm and followed that up with the SNGA Championship title at Golf Summerlin a month later for two of his three victories.
He closed out his three-win season with the title at Coyote Springs in September.
“Winning those two tournaments early, and with one of them being a major, got me off to a real good start,” Parrish said. “The rest of the year I just played solid.”
He said this has been a goal for a long time. “I’m hitting the magic 65 this year,” he said. “I started this journey when I was 38 and it’s always been a goal to be a gross champion. I worked on my game every available minute I had this year and it finally paid off.”
“I feel like I should retire now,” he said with a laugh.
Silver Net: John Kelly
John Kelly won twice in 2019, including at the Cascata Amateur in August, and he held on to beat Stephen Sitar for the Player of the Year.
Kelly had 757 points and wound up winning by just 17.42 points.
“It was a close call,” Kelly said. “I think (Stephen) let up just a little and that gave me a shot.”
He said solid play week-in and week-out was the key. “I was consistent all year,” he said. “I placed relatively high in a lot of tournaments and I was second in the state amateur and that gave me a lot of points. I was really happy with the way I played.”
He’s now won the crown three times–2016, 2017 and 2019.
Other 2019 Awards
The SNGA Volunteer of the Year was Tim Quinn and the WSNGA Volunteer of the Year was Nancy Lauback.
The Facility of the Year was Red Rock Country Club and the Member Club of the Year was the PGA Tour Superstore.