Zahringer wins record tenth Met Player of the Year
27 Nov 2007

click above for highlights of George Zahringer at the 2007 U.S. Amateur
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (Nov. 26, 2007)-- George J. Zahringer III of Deepdale Golf Club (Manhasset, N.Y.), a fixture of amateur golf in the Met Area for more than 30 years, added yet another chapter to the MGA record books by winning the 2007 Jerry Courville Sr. MGA Player of the Year Award. This is the 10th player of the year title for Zahringer, breaking his own record of nine established in 2001. The award will be presented at the 110th MGA Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, December 5 at Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York.

The Jerry Courville Sr. MGA Player of the Year Award is presented annually to the Met Area amateur who has compiled the best record in select events during the course of the year. The recipient is confirmed by the MGA Executive Committee based on a system in which players earn points for their finishes in designated local, national and international championships.

Zahringer began his run at the title in June after posting a fourth place finish at the prestigious Hochster Memorial at Quaker Ridge. Later that month, however, the 54-year-old Bear Stearns investment banker made history when he captured his fifth Ike championship at Fenway Golf Club. Zahringer beat a field dominated by youthful talent, including 2005 Ike champion Andrew Giuliani of Van Cortlandt Park, 2006 Met Amateur finalist Kevin Foley of Neshanic Valley, and nationally acclaimed junior standout player and former Carter Cup champion Morgan Hoffmann of Arcola. Also in the field was Adam Fuchs of Hamlet Windwatch, who won the 2007 Richardson Invitational and Havemeyer Memorial to take an early lead in the player of the year race.

Played in extreme heat and humidity, Zahringer demonstrated the kind of competitive fortitude that has earned him countless other local and national titles. After trailing by two strokes entering the final round, he pulled away from the field and scored a four-stroke victory over runner-up Andreas Huber, 27, of Garden City Golf Club.

The memorable win was Zahringer’s 11th MGA championship title, also a record, and fifth Ike Championship. The 250 points vaulted him into first place on the player of the year list, a position which he would not relinquish.

One week after his Ike triumph, Zahringer traveled to Wisconsin for the U.S. Senior Open at Whistling Straits. On a difficult course buffeted by strong winds, Zahringer shot 75-72-80-69 to share low amateur honors with Danny Green of Tennessee (he was also low amateur in 2005). This earned Zahringer 167 more points toward the MGA Player of the Year award.

Later in August, Zahringer took advantage of an opportunity to earn points and make even more history. At the 107th U.S. Amateur, played at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Zahringer became the oldest competitor to advance to match play, and won two matches to make it to the Round of 16. He then gave eventual U.S. Amateur champion Colt Knost a tough battle before losing 2 and 1.

The strong showing at one of the most prestigious championships in all of golf gave Zahringer 225 points making him virtually unstoppable in the race for Player of the Year. But he wasn’t done yet.

Zahringer finished his competitive season by advancing to match play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon. (Zahringer won this event in 2002 and finished quarterfinalist or better on four other occasions.) This completed an impressive trifecta for Zahringer in USGA events – low amateur at the U.S. Senior Open, and match play qualifier at both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Zahringer’s final total was 844 points - a 209 point margin over Brian Komline of High Bridge Hills and a 264 point gap over third-place finisher Joe Saladino of Huntington. Other top finishers included Foley (fourth place, 558 points) and Giuliani (fifth place, 549 points), the 2006 Player of the Year.

Zahringer is no stranger to this award, having won it in four different decades. However, with the extraordinary depth of talent now seen in the Met Area, this may be Zahringer’s finest accomplishment of them all.

--Story courtesy MGA

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