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Shintaro Ban honored as NCGA Player of the Year
Shintaro Ban <br>(NCGA Photo)
Shintaro Ban
(NCGA Photo)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA (December 9, 2016) -- Back in 1981, Nathaniel Crosby won NCGA Player of the Year honors by playing in and winning just one event— the U.S. Amateur.

San Jose native Shintaro Ban nearly matched that feat. A junior at UNLV, Ban won 2015-2016 NCGA Player of the Year honors by playing in only three events–one being a qualifier.

“It means a lot. I think Player of the Year is one of the bigger things for a golf association,” Ban said. “It gets marked down in history. There are a lot of great names who’ve won it. I’m glad to be one of them.”

The 20-year-old became only the 11th player to capture both the California Amateur Championship and theNCGA Amateur Match Play Championship. The list of players who’ve bagged both titles in one year includes Jack Neville (1913), Charles Seaver (1933), Michael Brannan (1976) and, most recently, PGA Tour member Spencer Levin (2004).

With each win, Ban collected 700 points. He’d finish with 1,475 after also earning 75 points by advancing through a U.S. Amateur qualifier. Bayonet/Black Horse GC member Nick Moore, the defending 2014-2015 NCGA Player of the Year, was second with 1,457 points. Moore, who made a late surge with his record third win at the NCGA Valley Amateur, had a chance at passing Ban but finished as runner-up at the Las Positas Open. Third place went to E-Club San Francisco member and 2016 NCGA Public Links champion Matt Cohn at 1,286 points.

“I didn’t think I hold it down. I thought someone would catch me,” Ban said.

In its 105-year history, the California Amateur Championship had never seen a pair of brothers hoist the Edward B. Tufts Trophy, let alone in back-to-back years. Ban changed all that, defeating Hidetoshi Yoshihara, 5 and 4, in the finals at Valencia CC to win the title just a year after his older brother Shotaro did.

At the NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship, Ban was a buzzsaw, defeating 17-year-old runner-up Eddy Lai, 10 and 9. Through the first 13 holes of the 36- hole final, Ban went 6-under. He’d never trail at any point in his final three matches. Over his five matches, he only trailed a span of three holes total.

Other Players Honored:

NCGA Women’s Player of the Year: Sabrina Iqbal
NCGA Senior Player of the Year: Dale Bouguennec
NCGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year: Lynne Cowan
NCGA Super Senior Player of the Year: Gary Vanier
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