Stratton Nolen named Texas Golf Association "Player of the Year"
DALLAS, Texas (Nov. 12, 2014) — The Texas Golf Association is pleased to announce its 2014 Players of the Year. This year’s honorees are Stratton Nolen of Austin, our Statewide Player of the Year; Mike Booker of The Woodlands, Senior Player of the Year; John Dowdall of Fulshear, South Regional Player of the Year; and Clarke Kincaid of Trophy Club, North Regional Player of the Year.
The winners in each category are selected by the TGA Championship Committee based on a performance points system in which individuals earn points for top finishes in designated TGA regional and statewide events, as well as USGA national championships.
Stratton Nolen – Statewide Player of the Year
Stratton Nolen earned 1,650 points this season in a mere three events to earn Statewide Player of the Year honors. But, wow, did he ever make the most of those appearances. The Austin native was victorious in the State Public Links at Texas Star Golf Course in Euless. Nolen shot 69 in the qualifying round to earn the No. 5 seed and breezed into the finals where he defeated Will Griffin, 2 & 1, to win the title.
Two weeks later Nolen, a sophomore at Oklahoma State, was again in the thick of things at the 105th Texas Amateur Championship held at venerable Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas. The former Legends Junior Tour star and winner of the 2011 Texas State Junior opened with 69-66 to claim the 36-hole lead, but a third round 73 put him in second heading into the last day, which is where he would eventually finish after posting a closing 69.
Along with his two successful TGA championships, Nolen also qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Sand Creek Station Golf Country Club, where he missed making the match play rounds by three strokes.
Mike Booker – Senior Player of the Year
Mike Booker played in six TGA events in 2014, earning 1,950 points for his second Senior Player of the Year award. Booker previously won in 2012 and is the first senior to win twice. The Woodlands native teamed with 2013 Senior Player of the Year Mike Peck to win the Senior Division of the State Four-Ball at Deerwood Club in Kingwood.
Booker tied for second at the South Senior Amateur and tied for sixth at the State Senior Amateur at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth.
Booker also earned points from playing in the Texas Mid-Amateur, Texas Amateur and the State Mid-Amateur Match Play, which he won in 2013.
John Dowdall – South Regional Player of the Year
John Dowdall of Fulshear had two top-3 finishes in the South Regional events this season. He got the ball rolling early when in February he teamed up with Randy Lance to win the South Four-Ball at Quail Valley Golf Club. In August, he closed out the regional season on a high note with a third place finish at the South Amateur Championship at Comanche Trace in Kerrville. Dowdall was one of only three players to finish below par for the championship.
In addition to the South Regional events, Dowdall earned points from his tie for 11th in the West Texas Amateur at Wichita Falls Country Club. He is now a two-time South Regional Player of the Year honoree, first winning this award in 2012.
Clarke Kincaid – North Regional Player of the Year
Proving that consistency is an excellent strategy for accumulating points, Trophy Club’s Clarke Kincaid finished in the top-10 of all three regional events he played in this season. His highest finish was a tie for third in the North Amateur at Watters Creek, followed by a seventh place showing in the North Mid-Amateur at Prestonwood Country Club.
Along with his North Regional finishes, Kincaid tied for fifth in the West Texas Amateur, shooting a 66 in the second round at Wichita Falls Country Club.