WVGA announces 2012 award winners
HUNTINGTON -- Steve Fox of Huntington picked up a major award and a major assignment Friday night at the West Virginia Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Guyan Golf and Country Club.
Fox won the West Virginia Golf Association's Senior Player of the Year award for the seventh time. Later, Fox took over as president of the association's Executive Committee. He replaces Butch Freeman of Daniels, whose four-year termed ended Friday.
"It's a humbling honor," Fox said of his new role. "Butch left really big shoes to fill. We'll provide support for Ken (executive director Ken Tackett) and his staff. We have the best staff of any association in the country. Golf's seen a decline around the country, yet we're up in all areas. The thing is they all care."
Among the on-course achievements, Fox won the Senior Amateur, Senior Four-Ball with Harold Payne and made match play in the U.S. Senior Amateur.
"My daughter Stephanie keeps me humble about that one," Fox said, noting her dad competes in a small state against old men.
In addition, Fox is about to become a grandfather for the first time. His daughter Charlotte lives in Charlotte and is due to deliver soon.
Other award winners were Pat Carter, Player of the Year; Brooke Bellomy, Women's Player of the Year; Candy Rollyson, Women's Senior Player of the Year; Chris Williams, Boys Player of the Year; Lauryn Davidson, Girls Player of the Year; and Jim Ward, England Award.
Denny Shute, who learned the game at Spring Valley Country Club and won three majors in a 10-year span, was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He's the lone member in the fourth class.
Carter, 44 and an insurance executive from Huntington, started his 2012 season with a win in the West Virginia Mid-Amateur at Guyan. Business kept him away from the West Virginia Open, but the former Marshall University golfer won the West Virginia Amateur played on the Greenbrier and Old White TPC courses at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Spring. It was the 13th State Am win for Carter, who had last won in 2006.
"This is such a special honor," Carter said. "When we start out the season, everyone's trying to reach this. I missed the Open and was behind the 8-ball. The State Am win was special. On the last nine, I was more nervous than ever."
Bellomy, a sophomore on the Campbell University women's team, won her first West Virginia Women's Amateur in July at Berry Hills Country Club. The Cabell Midland High School graduate finished eight shots ahead of Kimberly Eaton of Shepherdstown. She made it to town in time to attend the dinner.
Rollyson, who is from Barboursville, won the senior award for the first time. She won the West Virginia Women's Senior Amateur and finished second in points for women on the Wendy's Amateur Tour.
Williams, a senior at Winfield High, has signed to play college golf at Coastal Carolina. He was low junior in the West Virginia Open, won five Top Flite Junior Tour titles and the AJGA Webb Simpson Junior title in Greensboro.
Davidson plays on the Parkersburg High golf team. She won the girls division in the West Virginia Junior Amateur and was low junior in the Women's Amateur.
Ward, who established the Junior Amateur in 1976, won the England Award. It's an association service award in recognition of contributions to amateur golf in the Mountain State. Ward also played at Marshall, is in the school's athletic Hall of Fame, and won the State Amateur in 1964.
Shute won the West Virginia Amateur in 1923 and 1925. He won the Ohio Amateur once and Ohio Open four times. He won the British Open in 1933 and PGA Championship in 1936 and 1937. He played on three U.S. teams in the Ryder Cup and entered the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008. Huntington attorney Lee Booten handled the Shute introduction.
Tackett said the state association will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013. There'll be a new tournament on the schedule, the West Virginia Senior Open in May at Guyan. Tackett said the complete schedule should be out within a week.