D'Ostroph, Stockwell Are Stars of 2012
We’re turning the final pages of the calendar for 2012, so in that spirit I’d like to hand out a few accolades, express a few personal observations, and maybe even reveal a couple of regrets regarding the year that was.
The first thing I want to do is name my personal Golfers of the Year in the Sandhills. Because I’m the chivalrous type, we’ll go with the female first.
My Woman Amateur Player of the Year is Amanda D’Ostroph. Amanda, who is a resident of Whispering Pines and a senior at Charleston Southern University, won her second Moore County Women’s Amateur Championship in the past three years last summer.
To make that feat even more impressive, she did it while playing heads-up with the 2011 champion, Staci Creech, and Patty Moore, a six-time champion and Carolinas Golf Hall of Famer.
Amanda posted rounds of 71-69 for a four-under-par 140 at Woodlake Country Club that left the two former champs five strokes in her wake.
My Male Amateur Player of the Year is Joshua Stockwell, who became the youngest winner of the Moore County Men’s Amateur Championship in its 71-year-history at age 16, then went on to win the county’s junior championship for an unprecedented sweep.
Stockwell, who is a junior at Pinecrest High School, shot 68-78—146 to win the men’s championship on the challenging Little River Golf & Resort course over three others who shot 147.
A few weeks later, Stockwell shot 71-73—144 at Talamore Golf Club to win the Bill Jones Memorial Moore Junior Championship. Second-place Grant Miller of Holly Springs was a distant 11 strokes back.
My Professional Player of the Year is Kelly Mitchum, who won the Carolinas PGA Section Championship again and also finished second in the PGA Professional Championship to earn a berth in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island
My award for Greatest Contribution to the Game goes to Bill Baker, the hardworking executive director of The First Tee of the Sandhills.
But this one comes with a caveat. Baker must share the award with a few of his “coaches,” particularly Bob Burwell and Bob Hepner.
The work of these three guys, plus all the other coaches who so unselfishly give of their time and talents, has made the Sandhills Chapter one of the most highly regarded in the nation.
It’s important to note that both of the above Amateur Players of the Year are products of The First Tee.
The award for Administrator of the Year goes to Kelly Miller, president and CEO of Pine Needles and Mid Pines resorts.
Miller never rests in his pursuit to keep both Donald Ross courses among the best. Pine Needles is more renowned, and rightly so, as the course has hosted a ton of professional and amateur events, including three Women’s U.S. Opens (1996, 2001 and 2007).
But Mid Pines is getting special treatment now, including a restoration project that is bringing back the original Ross intent. An excellent course already, Mid Pines will be a real treat for Ross aficionados when it reopens in August.
While I’m handing out accolades, here’s a shout out for Dick Wilson, who along with the ever-involved Bob Burwell and Bob Klug is largely responsible for keeping the Moore Men’s Amateur from disappearing from the landscape.
On a different note, I’d also like to convey heartfelt condolences to the family of John Marsh.
I worked with John for a few years on a couple of golf publications and really came to appreciate his talents as well as his friendship.
John passed away two days before Christmas, but a lot of us are going to remember the little guy with the big heart and the big smile.
I’m not enough of a prognosticator to predict what’s going to happen over the next 12 months. But it’s going to take a lot of good things to make me forget 2012. If only my golf game can be revived, that is.
Happy New Year!
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