History Makers: Simson, Moore Steal CGA's 100th Spotlight
Paul Simson and Patty Moore should team up for the next mixed-team competition the Carolinas Golf Association conducts.
Talking about unbeatable! This dynamic, history-making duo might just run away and hide from the rest of the field.
For the first time in the 100-year history of the CGA, the same players have won both the regular and senior Player of the Year awards in the same year. Simson and Moore accepted those awards at the annual CGA Awards Banquet held at Pinehurst's The Carolina Hotel last Friday night.
"I think Paul and I might turn pro this year," the 58-year-old Moore quipped after accepting the plaque. "Seriously, after last year, I can't be anything but totally pleased with my play. I'm honored by this, but I'm not planning on slowing down. I think I enjoy the competition as much as ever and playing tournament golf really piques my interest. I am thinking about going to graphite shafts, though."
Simson, an insurance executive from Raleigh who has won a record 17 CGA major championships, isn't planning on slowing down either.
"I enjoy it too much not to keep playing," Simson said. "It's special to become the first male to win both the regular and senior awards in the 100th year of the CGA, but I'm still the only player to win the regular Player of the Year Award who hasn't been on the PGA Tour.
"I'm hoping to play a little better in major events this year such as the Carolinas Mid-Am and the Carolinas Amateur. I'm going to target them this year."
Moore, a Charlotte resident who also owns a home in Pinehurst, has won the Moore County Women's Amateur Championship a record five times. Her outstanding 2008 season resulted in wins in the Carolinas Women's Senior, the Carolinas Women's Amateur Match Play Championship, and the North Carolina Women's Senior Championship.
Moore won her first Women's Player of the Year Award in 2004 and repeated in 2007 and 2008. She has been Player of the Year in the Senior category each year since becoming eligible in 2004.
Ironically, she failed to win the Moore County title last year, losing to an inspired Dianne Yelovich on the Southern Pines Golf Club course.
Simson teamed with Don Detweiler to win the Carolinas Senior Four-Ball, and also won the Carolinas Senior Men's Championship. He also won the Eagle Point Amateur and the National Senior Hall of Fame Championship.
Two Moore County natives, Jack Fields and Robert Riesen, were among major champions honored at the event.
Fields won the North Carolina Amateur Championship held at Raleigh Country Club by firing a sensational 63 in the final round. The round was highlighted by an eagle and a double eagle on par-5 holes.
Riesen teamed with Philip Chauncey to win the North Carolina Four-Ball title.
Both Riesen and Fields are playing golf for the University of North Carolina.
Mark Joye was honored as Junior Boys' Player of the Year. An 18-year-old from Columbia, S.C., Joye won the Carolina PGA Junior Championship and had several high finishes in other events. He also qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
Joye is scheduled to attend Wofford College on a golf scholarship next year.
The Junior Girls' Player of the Year is Haley Stephens, a high school senior from Greer, S.C., who won a second straight Carolinas junior title. Her titles in 2008 included the Carolina's Junior, the South Carolina Junior Match Play and the Joe Cheves Junior Invitational. She plans to attend the University of Texas.
As part of the CGA's 100th year celebration, Executive Director Jack Nance introduced his identical twin brother Bill to the audience.
"We had a lot of fun growing up and playing golf together," Bill said. "Of course, like all brothers, we had our share of quarrels and name-calling, too. But one thing I never called Jack was ugly."
The Nance brothers starred on the Wake Forest University golf team and had an unforgettable showdown in the Gates Four Invitational during the time when it was one of the state's more prestigious amateur events.
The twins battled to a draw for 36 holes and then played three holes of sudden death before Bill ran in a birdie putt on the par-3 third hole for the win.
"I've never let him forget that," Bill said. "I still have the clipping from the newspaper and I show it to him every once in awhile."
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