October 30, 2015

2015 Players of the Year Announced

Six players earn POY honors and will be recognized at the FSGA's Annual Dinner in mid November.

Joe Alfieri - Amateur Player of the Year

The 2015 Amateur Player of the Year belongs to Joe Alfieri, of Lutz for the third time, gathering 12,365 points, edging out T J Shuart, of Fort Lauderdale by 115 points. Alfieri earned this honor previously in 1999 and 2001. Joe made appearances on the Web.com Tour between 2002 to 2007, competing in 54 events before regaining his amateur status in 2011. Joe started 2015 with a two-stroke victory at the Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Championship in May. June would see Joe post two top-ten finishes, a solo second place finish in the Amateur Public Links Championship and tied for seventh at the 98th Amateur Championship at Golden Ocala G & EC. At the Florida Open Championship in July, Alfieri fired a second-round 66 to vault up the leaderboard en route to a tie for 20th finish. Joe was exempt into the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship based on his World Amateur Golf Ranking and fought his way through to match play, advancing to the Round of 32. In his final appearance of 2015, Joe would advance to match play at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship and advance to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by eventual Champion, T J Shuart. Joe represented Florida in the Southeastern Challenge, and went 3 and 2 in his matches to assist the team in defending the title!

Rick Woulfe - Senior Player of the Year

For the majority of the season, Gordon Marshall had a stronghold on the Senior Player of the Year Points List. However, a late run of excellent golf by now eight-time Senior Player of the Year, Rick Woulfe, of Fort Lauderdale, would quickly change that. Rick has countless accolades, and added more in 2015. Woulfe would finish tied for fourth in the Senior/Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship with Stephen Anderson, tied for 16th in the Senior Amateur Championship, and tied for fourth at the Mid-Amateur Four-Ball (South) in the spring. Woulfe would start the summer off hot, capturing medalist honors at the Senior Amateur Match Play Championship, and advancing to the semifinals of the event. Exempt to the Amateur Championship, Woulfe failed to make the cut. Paired with Senior Amateur Champion, Gordon Marshall, the duo would post a tied for seventh finish at the Four-Ball Championship in July. In August, Woulfe would steal the opening round lead at the Florida Senior Open, on his way to a tied for tenth finish. Rick qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, moving on to match play and advancing to the Round of 32. Woulfe finished the year by qualifying for match play at the Mid-Amateur Championship and made it to the Quarterfinals. In the Southeastern Challenge, Rick contributed to Florida's victory by going 3 and 2 in his matches to defend the title. 

Brandon Mancheno - Junior Player of the Year

2015 was a special year for Brandon Mancheno, of Jacksonville. After a breakthrough capturing the 2014 FJT Tour Championship and his first win in December, Mancheno started 2015 on fire. In January, he would finish second and third in two starts. February, Mancheno would earn his first victory of 2015 at Gainesville CC. In two events in March, he posted a second and tied for third finish. One April start would have him finish tied for seventh, his only finish outside the top three on the season. In May, he would end the spring FJT season with a tie for third and a win at the Orange County National 54-Hole Major. At the Boys' Junior Championship, the Auburn University commit would struggle with an opening 75, but recover with closing 73 and 66 to finish alone in third place. In Brandon's first of two USGA Championships, Brandon would head to Colleton River Plantation, in South Carolina, and capture Stroke Play Medalist honors at the U.S. Junior Championship in July and advance to the Round of 32 before being eliminated. At the U.S. Amateur, Mancheno would post rounds of 76 and 75 and fail to advance to match play. Brandon's first fall start on the FJT saw him finish second at Rocky Bayou CC.

Tara Joy-Connelly - Women's Amateur Player of the Year

Tara Joy-Connelly, of Palm Beach Gardens, captures the 2015 Women’s Amateur Player of the Year with 22,885 points! Joy-Connelly has had an impressive and productive 2015 season, collecting hardware in two of Florida's top Women's Championships; the Women's Amateur Stroke Play and the Women's Mid-Amateur. After finishing second both in 2013 and 2014 at the Florida Stroke Play, taking home the title this year was priceless. Tara advanced to the semifinals in the State Women’s Amateur, improving on her quarterfinalist finish in 2014. On the national level, Tara advanced to the semi-finals at the 2011 and 2014 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship and battled to the Round of 16 in 2015. Assisting team Florida in a second place finish at the 2015 USGA State Team Championship marked Tara’s 24th USGA appearance and 9th State Team appearance.  Other accomplishments for Tara include a semifinalist finish at the Ione D. Jones/Doherty Women's Amateur Championship and a quarterfinalist finish at the Women’s Southern Amateur Championship this year. 

Tama Caldabaugh - Women's Senior Player of the Year

Tama Caldabaugh, of Ponte Vedra Beach, earned 12,028 points and the Women’s Senior Player of the Year honor breaking Mary Jane Hiestand’s streak of five consecutive years (2010-2014) with the title. Caldabaugh has been involved with the FSGA both on and off the golf course, a past Advisory Board member, currently serving her third year on the Board of Directors and competing regularly in top Championships. Tama started 2015 strong in the 24th Women’s Senior Amateur Championship, finishing tied for fourth in the 80 player field. Tama competed in several events outside of the FSGA in 2015 including the Ione Jones/Doherty Senior Championship where she was a semifinalist. On the national level, Tama played impressive golf at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. She was Medalist at West Orange Country Club to qualify for the Championship and after 21 holes lost in the semifinals. She finished 11th and 10th respectively at the Women’s Senior North & South and the Women’s Senior Eastern Championship. To complete her successful year, Tama will be the North team’s captain at the biannual Women’s Florida Cup and participate in The Legends Tour's Walgreens Charity Championship. 

Sierra Brooks - Girls' Junior Player of the Year

With an impressive playing resume that seems to never end, Sierra Brooks, of Sorrento, has become a household name in the women's amateur golf circuit. Over the past year Brooks has earned seven top 10 finishes around the country allowing her to capture the 2015 Girls' Junior Player of the Year with 21,100 points! Not only is Sierra ranked third in both the World Amateur Golf Rankings and Polo Junior Golf Rankings, she is also ranked fifth in the Golfweek Women's Amateur rankings. Her talent has sent her around the world by earning spots on Team USA's Junior Solheim Cup, Trans-Pacific Golf Match, Junior Ryder Cup, Toyota Junior World Cup  and The Junior Open Championship. In October, Brooks won the Class 1A States, in November, she won the Polo Golf Junior Classic, in January, she claimed first at the Women's Southern Atlantic Amateur, in April she won the AJGA Taylormade Championship, and earlier this month she brought home the trophy at the 100th edition of the Women's Southern Golf Association Amateur. As if this list of accomplishments doesn't impress you, Sierra finished runner-up in the 2015 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship.

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