The Golf Journalists Association of Canada (GJAC) has named their 2017 Players of the Year. Among the winners are three Ontario athletes, Judith Kyrinis (Thornhill), Brooke Henderson (Smiths Falls), and Josh Whalen (Napanee).
The lone player from outside of Ontario, Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, British Columbia, earned double honours in the GJAC awards. He was the professional male Canadian Player of the Year, but his season that included a PGA TOUR Victory, shooting 59 at the Career Builder Challenge, and playing on the International Presidents Cup team also earned him the Canadian Golf Story of The Year.
“GJAC is happy to honour these golfers and their accomplishments in 2017,” said Robert Thompson, GJAC president. “The accomplishments of the winners – and each of the nominees – show how strong Canadian golf is right now. GJAC wishes the best of luck to them in the year ahead.”
Hadwin’s first PGA Tour victory came in March after a thrilling Sunday at the Valspar Championship, where he won by one over Patrick Cantlay. In January, Hadwin became the eighth golfer in PGA Tour history to shoot a sub-60 round.
Just weeks after his win, Hadwin got married and closed on his first home to cap a whirlwind start to 2017. He ascended to inside the Top 50 in the world (becoming Canada’s highest-ranked male golfer in the process), played all four majors, and participated in the Presidents Cup in September.
Henderson, voted female professional Player of The Year, continued her impressive start to her LPGA Tour career, winning twice – at the Meijer LPGA Classic and the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open – and nearly defending her title at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She finished sixth on the LPGA Tour’s 2017 money list, earning just over $1.5 million in 30 events (the most on Tour).
She was the only unanimous choice out of the four winners.
The winners of the amateur Players of the year had distinguished 2017 seasons.
Kyrinis had a stellar 2017 campaign capped off with a victory in an all-Canadian final at the U.S. Senior Amateur. She also won the Ontario Women’s Senior Amateur and Mid-Amateur Championships, along with finishing runner-up at the prestigious North and South Senior Women’s Amateur, and fifth at the Canadian Women’s Senior Amateur.
Whalen finished No. 1 on the Golf Canada Amateur Order of Merit for his fine campaign in 2017. He finished third at the Canadian Men’s Amateur and notched six top-20 finishes during his senior year at Kent State University.