White Captures Fifth Player of the Year
Todd Breaks Streak for Senior Player of the Year
For the fourth time in six years (and fifth time overall), Spartanburg resident and school teacher Todd White is the South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year. White’s year consisted mostly of national competition; qualifying for and competing in four USGA championships (including making it to sectional qualifying of the US Open), and performing well in three premiere non-association conducted events.
The five-time Player of the Year’s first run at a USGA championship was as defending champion at the US Amateur Four-Ball, where he and partner Nathan Smith made it to the round of sixteen. Later in the year White made it to the match play portion of both the US Amateur and US Mid-Amateur, falling in the first round at both events. White then represented the SCGA and the state of South Carolina as one of three players selected to compete in the US State Team Matches. White’s other top finishes came at the Palmetto Amateur, contested at historic Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, where he finished tied for seventh; the Jones Cup Invitational (14th); and the Azalea Invitational (T-13th), conducted at another historic South Carolina venue, the Country Club of Charleston.
In addition to solid finishes at the national level, White opted to stay home and compete in this year’s SCGA Amateur Championship at the DeBordieu Club in lieu of participating in the Western Amateur (to which he had qualified for), finishing tied for third among the state’s best collegiate and amateur talent. White’s five SCGA Player of the Year Awards are the most of any golfer since the ranking system’s inception in 1987. His resume is long and distinguished, most notably and recently capturing the inaugural US Amateur Four-Ball in 2015 and being selected to the United States Walker Cup team in 2013. Carson Young (Pendleton), 2016 SCGA Amateur Championship winner, finished a close second in this year’s rankings.
Walter Todd of Laurens has been a stalwart in SCGA competitions for many years, having won multiple state Four Ball Championships with brother T.D. Todd (also of Laurens), and in later years with Greenwood golfer Chip Whitt. Todd’s trophy collection showcases victories in many other championships including the SCGA’s Mid-Amateur (2005), Father-Son (2010 and 2016 with son Walt), and Mid-Am Four-Ball (with brother T.D. in 2005), but Player of the Year honors have eluded the consummate competitor and team player – until now.
A victory in the SCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship alongside partner Eddie Hargett in March positioned Todd at the top of the point rankings early in the year. He would remain at or near the top of the standings with subsequent victories in the Senior Festival of Flowers, SCGA Father-Son Championship, and SCGA Senior Better-Ball Championship (again partnering with Eddie Hargett). Todd would add top-three finishes in the SCGA Trescott Team Championship (T-2 representing Lakeside Country Club), the SCGA Senior Championship (second), National Senior Hall of Fame (third), and Carolinas Father-Son (T-3). A tie for 10th at the Chanticleer Senior Invitational and a tie for 15th in the Carolinas Senior Amateur would round out Todd’s point earnings for the year. Walter Todd joined the senior ranks in late 2015 and with his first Senior Player of the Year honor, breaks Rick Cloninger’s (Fort Mill) four year grip on the award. Todd Hendley of Greer, who successfully defended his SCGA Senior Championship in 2016, finished second in the point standings for the second straight year.
Both Todd White and Walter Todd will receive their respective Player of the Year awards at the SCGA’s 14th Annual Golf Day Awards Dinner and Banquet, to be held January 14th, 2017 at Columbia Country Club in Blythewood, SC. The ceremony will also include the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame inductions of two-time SCGA Player of the Year and former PGA Tour player Steve Liebler, and legendary golf professional Bob Boyd.