Doug Hanzel (USGA photo)
After another season of racking up trophies, Doug Hanzel
of Savannah, Ga. is the AmateurGolf.com Senior Player of the Year for the fourth time.
The AmateurGolf.com Senior Player of the Year is awarded based on a point system earned through performance in major senior events throughout the course of the year. This year, the 62-year-old Hanzel returned to the top of the standings for the third time in four years, winning seven tournaments.
After having spent years as a pulmonologist, a time-consuming specialty that required considerable night and weekend work around the hospital, Hanzel works roughly 10-12 days per month now with a focus on sleep medicine and hyperbaric wound care. He typically plays 15-16 events per year.
Last year, Hanzel won three times but ultimately finished fifth in the senior points race as Gene Elliott
of W. Des Moines, Iowa won the POY award.
Related: The 2018 AGC Senior Player of the Year: Gene Elliott
The year began with Hanzel's induction into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, one of two Halls of Fame into which he would be inducted in 2019.
On the course, Hanzel started the year off strong, winning against a deep Jones Cup Senior field
by a shot over Jeff Knox and Robert Funk.
Players of the Year
He then won the Florida Azalea Senior
for the fourth time in five years, by two shots over Don Caporusso and Steve Smith.
Related: Notebook: Two wins into 2019, Hanzel is just getting started
His summer was relatively quiet by his standards, though he did go back to his native Ohio to play in the Ohio Senior Hall of Fame tournament, where he was this year's inductee. He won that tournament by five shots.
At the U.S. Senior Amateur, Hanzel earned medalist honors before being knocked out in the second round of match play. From that point on, he won just about every tournament he entered in the fall/winter of 2019.
At the Senior Porter Cup in Lewiston, N.Y., Hanzel had three straight rounds in the 60s to win by six shots
He then put his name on one of the few senior trophies that didn't already have it, winning the Society of Seniors (SOS) John Kline Senior
tournament in his native Savannah.
He then won two tournament in a week, first getting his second straight SOS title
at the Dale Morey Championship in North Carolina and following it up with a Timuquana Cup title in Florida.
He jumped off the national senior trail to win a Georgia State Senior Four-Ball title
with U.S. Senior champion Bob Royak.
He concluded his 2019 season with his third SOS win, passing five players in the final round to win the Ralph Bogart Tournament
in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Final Senior POY Points Standings, 2019
|1 ||Doug Hanzel||Savannah, GA||6950|
|2 ||Ken Kinkopf||Jupiter, FL||6425|
|3 ||Gene Elliott||W. Des Moines,
|4 ||Allen Peake||Macon, GA||4700|
|5 ||Bob Royak||Alpharetta, GA||4500|
|6 ||Keith Decker||Martinsville, VA||3550|
|7 ||Steve Harwell||Mooresville, NC||3275|
|8 ||Walter Todd||Laurens, SC||3100|
|9 ||Robert Funk||Canyon Lake, CA||2950|
|10 ||Paul Simson||Raleigh, NC||2650|
The runner-up in the 2019 Senior Player-of-the-Year points race was Ken Kinkopf of Jupiter, Fla., who topped the standings for much of the year before Hanzel pulled away in the fall and winter events. Kinkopf had a breakout season that saw him win five times, including three SOS events and the North & South Senior.
Elliott finished third in the standings, winning the Canadian Senior and the Crump Cup Senior. Allen Peake was fourth for the second straight year, and Royak rounded out the top five.
68-year-old Paul Simson finished 10th in his 14th year playing competitive senior golf.
AmateurGolf.com Senior Rankings
| Complete 2019 Points List (450 players)