November 16, 2017

FSGA Announces 2017 Players of the Year

Six players earn Players of the Year honors and will be recognized on Friday at the FSGA's Annual Dinner.

Marc Dull - Amateur Player of the Year

After a spectacular run at the 2015 US Mid-Amateur Championship, Marc Dull has become a household name in amateur golf events around Florida. In 2017, Dull continued his reputation of knocking on the door at FSGA Championships, before finally breaking through and earning his first FSGA victory at the Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Championship in October, and locking up Player of the Year honors while doing so. Marc started his year at the Senior/Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship in March finishing T2 with Bob Levy at Julliete Falls. Next, in May at the FSGA Mid-Amateur Championship at John's Island - West Course, Marc qualified 3rd in stroke play, and advanced to the Quarterfinals before falling to last year's Player of the Year, Joe Alfieri. The next week, Dull, and partner Chip Brooke, would then head up to the US Four-Ball Championship at Pinehurst Resort, and advance to the Semifinals. Marc would post a respectable T18 finish at the 100th Amateur Championship in June at The Bear's Club. In August, at Southern Hills Plantation Club, Marc would advance to the Semifinals, falling to eventual Champion, Jacob Huizinga, 1up. In October, Marc once again participated in the US Mid-Amateur Championship, and narrowly missed out on advancing to match play. Later that week, Dull would arrive at the FSGA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Championship at The Country Club of Winter Haven, and open with a five-under-par 67, and never look back earning his first FSGA Championship in a wire-to-wire victory. The victory also gave Dull enough points to lock up FSGA Player of the Year Honors. One week later, Marc represented team Florida in the Southeastern Challenge Matches, posting a 3-2 record.

George DeSear - Senior Player of the Year

Competing at Bradenton Country Club, his home club, George DeSear closed the Senior Amateur Championship with birdies on five of his final eleven holes to capture his first FSGA Championship after starting the day five strokes off the lead. DeSear would notch his second FSGA Championship at the Mixed Shoot-Out, where he teamed with standout junior player, Gabrielle Tomeo, and the duo went on to a five stroke victory. DeSear's other results saw him partner with John Donovan to finish T7 at the Senior Four-Ball, miss match play at the Mid-Amateur Championship after finishing stroke play T56, and miss the cut by one stroke at the Florida Senior Open, to finish T66.

Brandon Mancheno - Junior Player of the Year

Brandon Mancheno, of Jacksonville, is the Junior Player of the year for the second time in the last three years. He previously won this prestigious award back in 2015. Needless to say, Brandon was locked in for the 2017 season. First, he set his sights on the 100th FSGA Amateur Championship which was held at The Bear’s Club and Lost Tree Club. Brandon was tied for the lead after the first two rounds and finished in solo second. Next, he eyed down the US Junior and US Amateur Championships. A 64 in qualifying would earn him medalist honors for the US Junior. At the Championship, Brandon would make match play and fall in his opening match. Again, qualifying as medalist for the US Amateur, Brandon then went to California where he failed to make the cut. The highlight of his season came in a trip to Japan as part of the gold medal winning USA team at the Toyota Junior World Cup. Currently a Freshman and a key contributor to the Auburn University Golf Team, Brandon only needed eight months of eligibility to earn Junior Player of the Year honors. Congratulations to Brandon, we wish you all of the best with your collegiate golf career. 

Meghan Stasi - Women's Amateur Player of the Year

A familiar face on the Player of the Year front, Meghan Stasi captures her seventh title, setting a new record for most awards won by a female. This past Tuesday marks the end of a successful year for Stasi, as she fought her way to the Round of 16 at the US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, ultimately being defeated by none other than our Senior Player of the Year, Mary Jane Hiestand. Earlier this year, Meghan finished tied for second with her sister in the Four-Ball Championship and later qualified and made it to the Round of 32 in the US Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Her steady play continued as she captured yet another state Mid-Amateur title, continuing her streak of being crowned Champion every year that she has competed in it, 2013, 2014, 2016 and now 2017. Rounding out her summer, Stasi made it to the Round of 16 in the state Women’s Amateur, teed it up at the US Women’s Amateur and took home the title of Summer Mixed Champion with her good friend Kevin Hammer. 

Mary Jane Hiestand - Women's Senior Player of the Year

Fresh off of the plane as the Runner-Up at the US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, Mary Jane Hiestand, of Naples, claims her sixth Senior Women’s Player of the Year title. Hiestand made her way to the Quarterfinals of the US Women’s Mid-Amateur by defeating her opponent 5&3 in the Round of 64, winning 1 up in the Round of 32 and making an impressive comeback in the Round of 16 against 4-time Champion and 2017 Player of the Year, Meghan Stasi. She didn't stop there, winning her Quarterfinal match in 19 holes and then sinking a 48' birdie putt on the 19th hole to earn her spot in the finals. After a long week of golf, Hiestand pushed her way through the final match, ultimately finishing Runner-Up to Kelsey Chugg, 3&1. Earlier this fall, Hiestand competed in another national championship, making it to match play in the US Senior Women’s Amateur Championship. Along with a top five finish at the Inaugural Florida Women’s Senior Open, Mary Jane finished tied for sixth at the Senior Amateur, and tied for fifth in the Florida and International Four-Ball Championships. Hiestand added another trophy to her case this past December, capturing her second Women’s Senior Match Play Championship.

Taylor Roberts - Girls' Junior Player of the Year

With an impressive 14,113 points, Taylor Roberts, of Parkland, is the 2017 Girls' Junior Player of the Year. Taylor had one of the most dominant years of any Florida Junior Tour player in recent memory. She competed in seven FJT events this year, finishing no worse than tied for third. She has won the last four FJT’s in which she has played. Over the summer she finished T3 at the AJGA Daniel Berger Championship and a solo third in the State Girls’ Junior Championship. She has recently verbally committed to play golf at Florida State University. The highlight of Taylor’s year came in the end of July where she qualified for the US Girls’ Junior Championship at Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, MO. Rounds of 78-72 qualified her for match play as the 60th seed. Taylor would go all the way to the Semifinals! Most impressively, during her Round of 16 match, Taylor took down the 25th ranked amateur in the world! Congratulations to Taylor on a fantastic season! 

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