Three local golfers were honored last week as Player of the Year for their respective divisions at the Arkansas State Golf Association Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock.
Nick Zimmerman of North Little Rock won his first Amateur Player of the Year award. Connor Gaunt of Cabot earned his first Beau Glover Award for Junior Boys Player of the Year. Bill Wrentz of Cabot repeated as Super-Senior Player of the Year.
Zimmerman outpointed Wes McNulty, an ASGA Hall of Famer from White Hall, 570 points to 525. He won three of the eight events he played: The Stroke Play at Mystic Creek, Harbor Oaks Men’s Stroke and the inaugural Sherwood Amateur at The Greens at North Hills. He also finished fourth in the Rebsamen Invitational/Little Rock City Championship; fifth in the Fourth of July Championship at War Memorial Park; tied for fifth in the ASGA Men’s Match Play; tied for sixth in the Arkansas State Amateur and tied for eighth in the Maumelle Classic.
Zimmerman won the 2008 Junior State Amateur at Pine Bluff Country Club and the 2009 Junior Match Play Championship at Foxwood Country Club.
Gaunt, who turned 17 on Sept. 28, the day of the banquet, easily outpaced Jackson Marseilles of Harrison in the junior boys race, 925-667. He won five events (Shadow Valley Junior Championship, Bubba Smart Memorial, Chuck Morton Memorial and Randy Beaver Junior and tied for first in the Burns Park Junior Invitational). Gaunt finished second in the Greers Ferry Junior and ASGA Junior Match Play, tied for second in the Greater Little Rock Junior Championship, finished third in the Arkansas Junior Amateur and Bruce Jenkins Memorial, tied for fourth in the Monk Wade Junior Classic and tied for seventh in qualifying for the U.S. Junior Amateur.
Wrentz was a clear winner in the super-senior (64+) race, earning 1,095 points to Joe Bushee’s 660. Bushee, formerly of Cabot, lives now in Hot Springs Village.
Wrentz won six events (Fianna Hills, Harbor Oaks, Rebsamen/Little Rock City Championship, The Course at Eagle Mountain, Pine Bluff Country Club and Sherwood Amateur), finished second four times (Relyance Bank Classic, Arkansas State Amateur, Big Creek Men’s Stroke and tied for second at Eagle Hill) and finished third in his other three tournaments (Mystic Creek, Fourth of July and tie for third in the ASGA Match Play).
In 2016, he also won six of 14 tournaments, finished second three times and third in his other outing.
Wrentz missed the banquet because he and his wife were on an Alaskan cruise that had been planned for more than a year.
Others honored were Nora Phillips of Hot Springs, Women’s Player of the Year; Pat Elliott of Hot Springs, Senior Women; Elizabeth Moon of Forrest City, Junior Girls; Bev Hargraves of Little Rock, Senior Men; and Mark Graham of Fort Smith, Mid-Senior Men.
Inducted into the ASGA Hall of Fame were Bryce Molder, Jim O’Keane, Dan Van Horn and David White.