Koepka, Jutanugarn, Langer Named GWAA Players Of The Year
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2019-01-08
HOUSTON, Texas — Brooks Koepka, Ariya Jutanugarn, and Bernhard Langer made it as easy as 1-2-3 in winning the respective player of the year awards from the Golf Writers Association of America.
Koepka was voted 2018 Player of the Year for the first time, Jutanugarn was voted 2018 Female Player of the Year for the second time and Langer took home 2018 Senior Player of the Year honors for the third straight year.
Despite missing nearly four months at the beginning of 2018 due to a wrist injury, Koepka produced a spectacular season that earned him the GWAA award. Koepka won easily over Francesco Molinari and Dustin Johnson in a vote of the membership.
Koepka won three times in 2018, including the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges.
The 28-year old is just the fifth player to win both the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship in the same year. He also became the first player since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 to win consecutive U.S. Open titles.
After finishing last in his first start of 2018 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Koepka was diagnosed with a partially torn tendon in his left wrist. He sat out the Masters and did not return to competition until late April.
“It’s incredible any time you can win player of the year. That’s pretty cool. Whether it’s by your peers or the writers, anybody that takes notice of what you’re doing I think it’s pretty special,” Koepka said.
“Obviously last year was pretty special and it was pretty unique and incredible for me. I hope to follow it up this year and try to build on that.”
Jutanugarn won three times including the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open while earning Rolex Player of the Year honors on the LPGA Tour.
She dominated women’s professional golf, capturing the Race to the CME Globe, the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average and the season-long money title. She also set single season records for most rounds in the 60s (57) and the most birdies (470).
"It is a huge honor for me to win this prestigious award for a second time, and I'm really excited about that," said Jutanugarn. "To be recognized by golf writers, who cover our sport all year long, makes it even more special for me to have my name on this trophy again. I'm really proud to be honored alongside all the other great recipients of this award in the past."
Langer won twice on the Champions Tour in 2018 to increase his career victory total to 38, second-most in Tour history. He also had six second-place finishes and 14 top-10s in his 24 starts. It is the fifth time Langer has won the Senior Player of the Year award from the GWAA.
“It is a great honor and wonderful recognition to have been voted Senior Player of the Year 2018 by the GWAA and I very much look forward to receiving the Award,” Langer said.
Koepka, Jutanugarn and Langer will receive their awards at the 47th ISPS HANDA GWAA Annual Awards Dinner presented by The PGA of America and USGA on Wednesday April 10 in Augusta, Ga.