Adam Hadwin and Alena Sharp have been named the 2011 Professional Golfers of the Year by the Golf Journalists of Canada while Mackenzie Hughes and Rebecca Lee-Bentham were named the top amateurs.
Hadwin, a native of Abbotsford, B.C., had a strong 2011 campaign that included a fourth place finish at the RBC Canadian Open, a Canadian Tour victory and along with two other top-10 results. Hadwin also made the cut in all five PGA Tour events he contested last year, finishing with more than $440,000 in earnings which would have put him 145th on the Tour's money list had he been a full-time member. While he came up short at PGA final qualifying school, Hadwin will attempt to secure his card on the Nationwide Tour in 2012.
Sharp did not have a particularly good year statistically on the LPGA Tour - missing eight of 17 cuts - but the Hamilton, Ont., golfer called it a "year of growing". Highlights included a ninth place finish at the Sybase Match Play Championship and her victories at the CPGA Women's Championship along with two Cactus Tour events.
Hughes from Dundas, Ont., captured the Canadian Amateur Championship and he helped Kent State capture the NCAA's Mid American Conference title. The Team Canada member also notched a victory in the prestigious Glencoe Invitational, qualified for his first professional Canadian Tour event in Calgary and teamed with fellow national team member Garrett Rank to claim the silver medal at the Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship in Texas.
Lee-Bentham won the 2011 Canadian Women's Amateur title and finished fourth at a CN Canadian Women's Tour event in British Columbia before capping off the year with a tie for ninth at the LPGA Tour qualifying school, earning her full-time status for the 2012 season.
"The winners in 2011 comprise a talented group of individuals whose best days on the golf course are still very much ahead," said GJAC President Garry McKay. "We congratulate each one of them on their season and wish them the best as they embark on 2012."
The year-end GJAC vote is conducted amongst golf journalists from across Canada and internationally who cover golf for a broad spectrum of media including newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and the internet.