Hannah Green and Brett Rumford have been rewarded for standout 2017 campaigns after winning the Outstanding Golf Achievement Award, sponsored by Nexus Risk Services and NGI, at the Western Australian Golf Industry Gala Dinner at Crown on Friday night.
Both golfers claimed the honour ahead of some incredible performances from the likes of Jarryd Felton, Minjee Lee and her brother Min Woo Lee, with plenty of WA golfers reaching great heights on a global stage.
Green, 21, achieved beyond her wildest dreams in 2017 after securing three wins on the Symetra Tour to earn her LPGA Tour Card for the 2018 season.
The Mount Lawley member also claimed Rookie of the Year and finished second in the Symetra Tour Official Money List.
The youngster managed wins at the IOA Golf Classic, El Dorado Shootout and Sara Bay Classic to join fellow WA gun Lee on the LPGA Tour from 2018.
Brett Rumford’s emotional season was highlighted by winning the inaugural ISPS Handa World Super 6 in February at Lake Karrinyup, securing his European Tour Card and first victory since 2013.
Given the new “Super 6” tournament format and difficulty with injuries, Rumford hailed this win as one of his finest during the veteran’s illustrious career.
Min Woo Lee continues to be Australia’s leading Amateur after finishing runner-up in the Australian Amateur Championships, before competing in the Emirates Australian Open later in the year.
Sister Minjee had another consistent year on the LPGA Tour, while Felton claimed the New Zealand PGA for his first win on tour.
Green was thrilled to receive the award despite not being able to attend the ceremony on Friday.
“It was a really big year,” Green said. “Yes, it was my first year on tour, but it has definitely set up the rest of my career.”
“Having three wins was really cool; to have my dad there for two of them was even more special.
“I ticked all the goals that I wanted, got my LPGA tour card.”
At the end of 2016, Green was unable to gain LPGA status after Q-School; however despite the setback she believed it was a blessing in disguise.
“I was pretty disappointed after Q-School to not get any LPGA status, but I feel like it was a bit of blessing to play on Symetra,” she said.
“I learnt a lot about myself and probably benefitted from not being in the spotlight of the LPGA.”
Green reflected on her second win as her most memorable, with her tournament spent alongside an unlikely caddy over the four rounds.
“Unfortunately my caddy was supposed to work for me that week but he got stuck in Hurricane Irma,” she claimed.
“My dad was actually on the bag and I shot eight-under in the last round to win by one. That was my special moment of the year.”
Green credits a lot of her successful to people within Western Australian, most notably GolfWA for their commitment to her golfing career through the High Performance programs.
“To be a professional golfer you have to pay all of the expenses,” she laughed. “I was like wow, didn’t realise how expensive everything is.”
“For GolfWA to support me for so many years, it is amazing what they do and what they continue to do for or juniors coming through.
“It’s all about growing the game and they have definitely done that for me.”
Ritchie Smith has been instrumental to the rise of Green and claimed another of the night’s major awards when he was named PGA Coach of the Year, Sponsored by Glen Eldon Wines.
Smith beat out Craig Bishop for the top honour, with both coaches nominated for the KPMG Coach of the Year at the RAC WA Sports Star Awards last month.
Dennis Bell became the sixth inductee into the WA Golf Industry Hall of Champions, being recognised for his illustrious career in Western Australian golf.
A member of Royal Fremantle Golf Club, Bell remained an Amateur for his entire career, boasting a +4 handicup. In 1961, this remained the lowest in Australia.
Bell’s accolades also include four WA Amateur Championships, three WA Opens, and a member of WA State Team for 19 years, which he captained to their first Interstate Title in 1971.
The Hall of Champions has been created to acknowledge golfers who have achieved considerable success at a very high level, either as a professional of amateur.
John Forrest won the prestigious WA Golf Industry Recognition Award following his terrific service to the sport, notably his work as a project coordinator at several WA metropolitan golf clubs.
Forrest was responsible for revegetation and vegetation auditing of Hartfield CC, Wembley GC, Cottesloe GC, Melville Glades GC, The Western Australian GC, Rose Hill GC and Seaview GC.
Bunbury Golf Club claimed the Regional Golf Course of the Year, while Joondalup Country Club won the Metropolitan Golf Course of the Year.
WAGI Gala Dinner – Full Awards List
WA Golf Industry Recognition Award: John Forrest
Outstanding Golf Achievement Award, sponsored by Nexus Risk Services and NGI: Hannah Green (Mount Lawley) & Brett Rumford (Royal Perth Golf Club)
PGA Coach of the Year, sponsored by Glen Eldon Wines:
Ritchie Smith (Melville Glades Golf Club)
Metropolitan Golf Course of the Year, sponsored by ADH Club Car:
Joondalup Country Club
Regional Golf Course of the Year, sponsored by ADH Club Car: Bunbury Golf Club
GCSAWA Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by AFGRI & John Deere:
Matthew Vroom (Mandurah Country Club)
Superintendent of the Year, sponsored by McIntosh & Son and Jacobsen:
Phil Moylan (Gosnells Golf Club)
Employee of the Year, sponsored by MiClub:
(Mosman Park Golf Club)
Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by Bowra & O’Dea:
(Melville Glades Golf Club)
Outstanding Game Development Award:
Tom Hughson (Empower Golf)
PGA Pro-AM of the Year, sponsored by Golf Cart World:
The Roy Hill Port Hedland Golf Classic
PGA Tournament of the Year, sponsored by Golf Cart World:
Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open
Hilary Lawler PGA Professional of the Year:
Byron Clarkson (Spalding Park Golf Club)
Regional Golf Facility of the Year:
Broome Golf Club
Metropolitan Golf Facility of the Year, sponsored by Rouge Wolf:
Wembley Golf Course & Mandurah Country Club