Golf Week Player of the Year

2017: Adam Condello

 Adam Condello

INTRODUCING, THE GW POTY: Adam Condello of Locust Hill Country Club capped off a steady 2017 season by winning his first New York State Men's Amateur title in August at the famed Bethpage State Park "Black" Course, above. Condello's consistent play — which included runner-up finishes in both the RDGA Match Play Championship and the Brook-Lea Amateur Invitation — earned him our recognition as the 2017 Rochester Golf Week Player of the Year. (NYSGA)

In many ways, the 2017 local golf season represented the continuation of an interesting trend — that of local players having a "career year" in area tournaments, without claiming victory in several of the most "important" events. But, if consistency is the true "yardstick" by which champions are measured, then surely those players who perform at — or near — the top of their fields in most of their competitions are the ones most deserving of "player of the year" recognition. With that criteria in mind, in 2017, the local golfer who exhibited the most, consistently, top performance in the events in which he competed was Locust Hill Country Club's Adam Condello — our choice for 2017 Rochester Golf Week Player of the Year. Player of the Year recognition is well-earned for Condello, who has been at, or near, the top of the local amateur rankings for much of the past four years — ever since returning to the local amateur scene following a 10-year "hiatus" when he pursued the life of a professional golfer.

Between 2005 and 2014, Condello played on several professional "mini-tours," before settling down into the life of a PGA of America assistant club pro at Oak Hill Country Club and Philadelphia's famed Aronomink. After the life of a club pro no longer appealed, however, Condello returned to the Rochester area and went to work in his family's business — while at the same time, going through the official USGA process of restoring his status as an amateur golfer. Since returning to the local amateur ranks, Condello has consistently been one of the area's best golfers. In fact, he won his first two major amateur titles among his first competitions as a reinstated amateur — the 2014 Tournament of Champions at the Golf Club at Blue Heron Hills and the 2014 Brook-Lea Amateur Invitation.

2016: Jim Scorse

 Jim Scorse

FOURTH TIME POTY: Jim Scorse of Stafford Country Club dominated the amateur scene in Rochester in 2016, winning two major local amateur titles, the local U.S. Mid Am Qualifier, as well as his second New York State Mid Amateur title, above. (NYSGA)

In 2016, Stafford Country Club's Jim Scorse dominated the local amateur golf scene like no other player, winning two major titles in the Rochester area, as well as his second New York State Mid Amateur Championship title. In spite of this, there was one title that got away from Scorse — the RDGA District Championship, where, for the third consecutive year, he lost out to Trevor Sluman.

Still, by any other measure, Scorse's playing record was unmatched by any other amateur in the area for 2016 — a record that included the RDGA Match Play Championship in May, the Brook-Lea Amateur Invitation in August and the New York State Mid Amateur Championship in September. Along the way, Scorse also won the U.S. Mid Amateur Championship Local Qualifier, as well as teaming up with Ken Seibold to win the RDGA Two Person Scramble in May. By season's end, Scorse had earned enough points to claim the RDGA Player of the Year honors for a record 14th time.

For these accomplishments, Jim Scorse is our choice as Rochester Golf Week's Player of the Year for 2016. This is the fourth time Scorse has earned our top player award, having previously won in 2001, 2005 and 2013.

2015: Trevor Sluman

 Trevor Sluman

Trevor Sluman (L) and runners-up Adam Condello & Jenna Hoecker. (RGW/Dave Eaton)

The 2015 season will be remembered for the many individual accomplishments from many golfers in the Rochester community — but none more so than the three pictured here: Locust Hill Country Club's Adam Condello, center, Brook-Lea Country Club's Jenna Hoecker, right, and Oak Hill Country Club's Trevor Sluman, left. Each had several tremendous accomplishments, and in any other year, each would have had strong enough credentials to earn our nod as the Rochester Golf Week Player of the Year. In one of the toughest decisions we've ever had to make, our choice for 2015 Player of the Year is Sluman — who dominated the RDGA District Championship in July and two weeks later claimed the New York State Men's Amateur Championship.

2014: Dominic Bozzelli

Dominic Bozzelli

Dominic Bozzelli. Photo: Daily Commercial (Leesburg, FL)/Brett Le Blanc.

Beginning in March, Dominic Bozzelli, the Pittsford native who graduated from Auburn University in late 2013, turned his attention to the professional ranks and found almost immediate success, winning three consecutive events on the NGA Tour, one of pro golf’s top “mini-tours.” By mid-summer, Bozzelli had won a fourth event on the NGA Tour and had parlayed his success into spots in Web.com Tour events — the next step closer to the PGA Tour. Bozzelli ultimately advanced all the way to Final Stage Qualifying, one of only 150 golfers from around the world to do so. For these accomplishments, Bozzelli is out choice for Rochester Golf Week Player of the Year for 2014.

2013: Jim Scorse

Jim Scorse

Jim Scorse. (Rochester Golf Week/Ken Pamatat)

In early August, Stafford Country Club member Jim Scorse not only captured his fifth Brook-Lea Amateur Invitational title, he also completed three fourths of the local amateur grand slam this year, including titles in the Tournament of Champions at Blue Heron Hills Golf Club in May and the Country Club of Rochester Invitation in June. In the fourth leg of the local “am-slam,” the Ryan Memorial RDGA Championship, Scorse finished second behind Hall.

For these accomplishments — along with winning the RDGA’s annual points race for District Player of the Year — our choice for Rochester Golf Week’s Player of the Year for 2013 is Jim Scorse. Scorse earns our top playing honor for the third time, having also won Rochester Golf Week’s Player of the Year in 2005 and 2001.

2012: Mother Nature

Mother Nature

Photo: Rochester Golf Week/Dave Eaton

From wall-to-wall sunshine beginning in February, to a freak late-season blast of snow, to the remnants of Hurricane Sandy, weather played a huge role in every aspect of the local golfing community this year. Therefore, in a local golf season that featured many memorable, yet few dominating individual performances, our choice as Rochester Golf Week’s Player of the Year for 2012 is Mother Nature, who had our undivided attention throughout the entire golfing season.

2011: Danielle Fuss

Danielle Fuss

Danielle Fuss. Photo: Rochester Golf Week/Dave Eaton.

In a local golf season that featured many memorable, yet few dominating performances, 16-year-old Danielle Fuss captured our attention this year — not for any one specific accomplishment, but rather for her overall performance and demeanor throughout the season, which included winning the RDGA’s Women’s District title at CCR, a runner-up performance at the New York State Women’s Amateur Championship and representing New York State in the USGA Women’s State Team Championship in Georgia. For her collective accomplishments this year, Fuss is our choice as Rochester Golf Week’s Player of the Year for 2011.

2010: Gavin Hall

Gavin Hall

Gavin Hall

In 2010, 15-year-old Gavin Hall claimed his first Section V Boys High School title, won his second consecutive RDGA District Championship title and advanced all the way to the quarterfinal round of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. By August, Hall was invited to play in his first PGA Tour event: the Turning Stone Resort Championship, above, where he posted scores of 78–71. For his collective accomplishments this year, Hall is our choice as Rochester Golf Week’s Player of the Year for 2010.

2009: The Williamson Cup Team

The Williamson Cup Team

The Williamson Cup Team. Photo: RDGA.

Rochester’s 2009 Williamson Cup team in August after became the first local team to win the competition since 1978. The team — Yarik Merkulov, Gavin Hall, Joe Colosi and Benton Kircher — included some of the most talented golfers ever to emerge from the local junior ranks. For their collective accomplishments this year, the entire Williamson Cup team is our choice as Rochester Golf Week’s Players of the Year for 2009.

2008: Dominic Bozzelli

Dominic Bozzelli

Dominic Bozzelli. Photo: NYSGA.

Our choice for Rochester Golf Week's 2008 Local Golfer of the Year Award goes to: Dominic Bozzelli of Pittsford.

Bozzelli, a 17-year-old senior at McQuaid Jesuit High School, began the year with an impressive victory over Jim Scorse in the Rochester District Golf Association's Match Play Championship in May. Then, in early June, Bozzelli outpaced every other top high school golfer in New York to win the 2008 New York State High School Championship in Ithaca.

In late June, Bozzelli had an impressive top-20 finish in the annual Monroe Invitational Championship, where he competed against many of the top NCAA Div. I golfers in the country. And in August, he finished as runner-up in the New York State Junior Championship.

It was in late July, however, that Bozzelli had arguably his greatest performance of the year Ð in a tournament he didn't even win.

During the last week of July, Bozzelli advanced all the way to the semifinal round of the U.S. Junior Amateur at Shoal Creek golf course in Alabama. After surviving the 36-hole stroke play qualifier earlier in the week, Bozzelli won 3 matches, including defeating the defending U.S. Junior champion and nationally-ranked No. 1 junior Cory Whitsett of Houston, 4-and-3, in his first-round match before bowing-out as one of only four semi-finalists.

For all these accomplishments Ð and for his consistently stellar play throughout the entire 2008 season, Dominic Bozzelli is our choice for 2008's Local Golfer of the Year.

2007: Christy Rittenhouse-Schultz

Christy Rittenhouse-Schultz

Christy Rittenhouse-Schultz

With impressive victories in two major amateur tournaments this summer, the New York State Women's Amateur in July and the Women's RDGA Championship in August Ð along with an impressive finish in the U.S. Women's Mid-Am Championship in October — the 2007 Rochester Golf Week Local Golfer of the Year award goes to Christy Rittenhouse-Schultz.

One golfer who stood out from all others last year was Brook-Lea's Christy Rittenhouse Schultz, who throttled the field at the 78th NYSGA Women's Amateur Championship in July, then captured her seventh Women's Rochester District Championship at Locust Hill Country Club a month later. Then, in October, Schultz competed in the U.S. Women's Mid-Am Championship in Arizona, finishing in a tie for 19th place overall to earn a spot in the opening match play Round of 64.

Thus, due to her outstanding performances both locally and nationally, Christy Rittenhouse Schultz has been selected as our annual Rochester Golf Week's Local Golfer of the Year for 2007.

2006: Stephen Goodridge & John Kircher

Stephen Goodridge & John Kircher

Stephen Goodridge & John Kircher

Above all, two local golfers stood apart from the rest this year.

In May — and again in July — University of Rochester sophomore Stephen Goodridge overwhelmed strong fields to claim two impressive victories — one national; at the NCAA Division III Championships, and one local; at the Rochester District Golf Association's Ryan Memorial District Championship.

Bookending those performances were three equally impressive accomplishments by celebrated Monroe Golf Club member John Kircher. In May, Kircher opened the season by winning the RDGA Match Play title at Oak Hill Country Club. In June, Kircher outlasted an impressive field to win the CCR Invitational for the first time in 16 years. Then, in August, the 47-year-old Kircher again turned back the clock to win his third career Brook-Lea Amateur Invitational title.

Thus, due to the outstanding performances displayed by these two golfers throughout the 2006 season (and our inability to pick one over the other) we have, for the first time, decided to name co-winners for our annual Rochester Golf Week's Local Golfer of the Year award for 2006 Ð to Goodridge, for his two singularly impressive victories; and to Kircher, for his outstanding consistency from start to finish.

Ultimately, the 2006 season proved to be a productive one, with golfers playing regularly from January through to December. In between, many people, places and events helped to make the year a memorable one on the local golf scene.

2005: Jim Scorse

Jim Scorse

Jim Scorse. Photo: NYSGA.

As far as individual performances are concerned, none compares to the consistency of excellence displayed by Stafford Country Club member Jim Scorse, who walked away with the RDGA Championship trophy for the third time in five years in July, followed by his first victory in the prestigious New York State Men's Amateur Championship a week later.

In fact, for capturing two of the biggest amateur titles of the year in back-to-back weeks, Scorse was clearly our choice as Rochester Golf Week's Local Golfer of the Year for 2005 — winning the award for the second time since 2001.

 

 
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