Finalists Announced for 2020 Golfer of the Year Awards
October 22, 2020 – The Golf Manitoba Amateur Golfer of the Year Award Selection Committee is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2020 Male and Female Amateur Golfers of the Year awards.
The female Amateur Golfer of the Year nominees for 2020 are: Rhonda Orr (Southwood Golf & Country Club), Bobbi Uhl (Shilo Country Club), Veronica Vetesnik (Kingswood Golf & Country Club), and Crystal Zamzow (Swan River Golf & Country Club).
Rhonda Orr of the Southwood Golf & Country Club had a T5th in the City & District Championship and a win at the 2020 Senior Women’s Championship. Impressive was not only her 9-shot victory at the Senior Championship but also that the win was her 7th title in the last 8 years.
Bobbi Uhl started the summer competitive season with an impressive win at the Golf Manitoba Women’s Match Play Championship that was contested at the St. Charles Country Club. Uhl took the title with a 5 and 4 victory defeating defending champion Hannah Diamond in the finals. The win was her first in the event after two straight runner-up finishes in both 2019 and 2018. She then followed her Match Play victory with a runner-up finish in the Diamond Athletic Women’s Amateur Championship where she missed tying top spot by a single shot.
Veronica Vetesnik started her season by making it to the first round matches in the Women’s Match Play Championship. She took that momentum forward to capture the 2020 Diamond Athletic Women’s Amateur Championship that was held at the Bel Acres Golf & Country Club. It was Vetesnik’s first amateur title and against the strongest female field in provincial championship amateur golf.
At only 14 years of age, Crystal Zamzow had an impressive 2020 season. Zamsow’s season included a 2nd place finish in the Junior Women’s Bantam Championship, 10th in the Diamond Athletic Women’s Amateur and a win at the Junior Women’s Championship played at the Selkirk Golf & Country Club. Zamzow also added two Maple Leaf Junior Tour 1st place finishes to her 2020 competitive season resume.
Three female golfers also received honourable mention for their performance in 2020 and include Cala Korman, Golf Manitoba Public Player (2020 Junior Women’s Bantam Champion, 3rd in the Manitoba Junior and 7th in the Women’s Amateur), Charmaine Mackid of Breezy Bend Country Club (T2nd in the City & District Championship and 5th in the Women’s Amateur), and Marissa Naylor of Pine Ridge (T2nd in the City & District Championship and 4th in the Women’s Amateur).
The male Amateur Golfer of the Year nominees for 2020 are: Austin Dobrescu (Shilo Country Club), Braxton Kuntz (Breezy Bend Country Club), Neel Soni (St. Charles Country Club) and Marco Trstenjak (Elmhurst Golf & Country Club).
Austin Dobrescu of the Shilo Country Club started his summer championship season by successfully defending his Match Play Championship title with a win at St. Charles Country Club. The victory propelled Dobrescu into another strong showing at the Nott Autocorp Men’s Amateur where he finished tied for 4th.
Braxton Kuntz of the Breezy Bend Country Club had a successful start to his year making it to the quarter-final matches in the Match Play Championship. He followed that performance with a 2nd place finish in the Manitoba Junior Men’s Championship missing out on top spot by a single shot. He then followed with a 4th place at the Nott Autocorp Men’s Amateur where he led after 54-holes. In addition to his Golf Manitoba championship season, Kuntz added two wins on the Maple Leaf Junior Tour where he posted a six round scoring average of 70.6. In recognition of his strong performance this past summer, Kuntz was invited to participate in the 2020 Golf Canada National Junior Squad Selection Camp that was held October 14-18, 2020 at the Bear Mountain Golf Resort in Victoria, B.C.
Neel Soni of the St. Charles Country Club finished his junior competitive career by winning the 2020 Junior Men’s Championship. Soni took the lead in the 54-hole event after round one and never looked back posting rounds of 68-70-70 enroute to his first junior championship title. Soni continued his strong play later that week at the Nott Autocorp Men’s Amateur Championship where he posted a four-day total of 289 to finish alone in 2nd and just three shots back of the winner. By right of his play with an impressive 71.0 scoring in both the junior and amateur championships, Soni would have qualified to represent Manitoba on both the junior men’s and men’s amateur interprovincial teams had the 2020 national season not been canceled due to the pandemic.
Marco Trstenjak of the Elmhurst Golf & Country Club started his competitive season making with medalist honours in the Match Play Qualifier and then to the round of 16 in the Match Play Championship. At his next event, the Nott Autocorp Men’s Amateur Championship, Trstenjak played steady over the 72-hole event to finish at 2-under par 286 and good for a three-shot victory and his first amateur title. Just a few weeks later at the Elmhurst Invitational, Trstenjak, on his home course, posted an even par score of 141 for the win in the 36-hole event.
Four golfers also received honourable mention for their play in 2020 and include 2019 Male Amateur Golfer of the Year Colwyn Abgrall of Southwood (3rd in the Nott Autocorp Men’s Amateur and T12th in the Elmhurst Invitational), Eric Johnson of Breezy Bend (T2nd in the Diamond Athletic Mid-Amateur and T6th in the Nott Autocorp Amateur), Allan McDonald of Breezy Bend Country Club (Won Diamond Athletic Mid-Amateur and T8th Nott Autocorp Amateur), and Justin McDonald also of Breezy Bend (T2nd Diamond Athletic Mid-Amateur and T6th Nott Autocorp Amateur).
Unfortunately and due to current indoor gathering restrictions, the annual Golf Manitoba Awards Reception has been cancelled. This year’s announcement for the 2020 Manitoba Male and Female Golfers of the Year award will be made online on the Golf Manitoba website at golfmb.ca and on the official Golf Manitoba Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages on Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
About the Golf Manitoba Amateur Golfer of the Year Award – The Manitoba Amateur Golfer of the Year award recognizes outstanding performance by Manitoba golfers in all levels of competition with the first award presented in 1975. In 2015, the award was re-established to include both a male and female category.
About Golf Manitoba – Golf Manitoba is the governing body for golf in the province of Manitoba and North West Ontario. Its mission is to develop, promote, govern and service the sport of golf in Manitoba and North West Ontario for the benefit of all participants.
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