When it comes to a long season with a lot of golf being played, wins are important, but being consistent is often rewarded with Player of the Year honors.
Sam Jackson from Columbia and Eddie Hargett from Blythewood both had consistent seasons and thier consistency had them at the top of the season long points race for Player of the Year and Senior Player of the Year honors.
Jackson is the SCGA Player of the Year
When Sam Jackson looks back at the 2022 golf year he doesn’t point to one swing, one putt, one good finish that earned him the South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year award.
“I had a consistent year,” said Jackson. “I don’t think I ever played great, but I always played pretty good,” he said.
By his own admission Jackson was not someone who would “beat” balls from sun up to sun down.
Instead he relied on an outstanding short game to keep him in contention in tournaments and the player of the year race.
“I could have a bad day ball striking, but my chipping and putting could make up for that and it helped me a lot during the year,” he said.
When it came to chasing a player of the year award Jackson didn’t have it for a goal.
“A couple of my friends have won player of the year and we would joke about when I would win, but I wasn’t really serious about going for it,” he said.
Without a great deal of fan fare Jackson moved into the lead early in the year. With partner Zack Herold the two won the Partners Championship.
The win earned Jackson a spot in the Palmetto Cup matches.
Teamed with Jordan Sease, the 2019 SCGA Player of the Year, the two won thier matches and helped the amateurs top the professionals early in the year.
Jackson was around the top spot most of the year. He fell to third in the standings before having a very good finish in the state am.
“I was playing with the kids and they can hit it a lot longer than I can,” said the 30 year old mid-am.
Besides giving up some distance, Jackson’s short game kept him in contention at the Dunes Club.
He finished in 5th place, just a shot out of a second place tie.
After the SC Am Jackson used a hot putter to finish second at the USGA Mid-Am qualifier at the Patriot.
The finish earned him a trip to Milwaukee to play at Erin Hills in the USGA Mid-Am.
It was his second USGA national championship. As a high school golfer Jackson played in the 2009 US Junior.
“Erin Hills is an unbelievable course and it was a great experience,” he said.
Jackson made the round of 64 and won his match.
In the round of 32 he was eliminated by the golfer who would finish as the runner-up, Hugh Foley from Ireland.
After the US Mid-Am Jackson moved ahead of SCGA Mid-Am champion John Weiss and held the points race lead to the end of the year.
He and Herold teamed up again for good finishes at the Musgrove Mill and Chanticleer Invitationals to finish the golf for the year.
Jackson plays his non-tournament golf at the Country Club of Lexington. The club near Columbia is one of several clubs around South Carolina where more than a few good golfers are members.
“You have to have a pretty good game to play at Lexington. You are always playing with good players so when you play in big tournaments it is a lot less nerve wracking,”he said.
Jackson is looking forward to some of the doors to top level amateur events his Player of the Year ward will open.
“Next to having my name on the list with so many other great players, getting to play in some top amateur tournament around the country will be fine’ he said.
Hargett wins fourth straight Senior P-O-Y
The SCGA may want to retire the plaque for Senior golfer of the year or maybe turn over custody of the award to Eddie Hargett.
The Blythewood golfer captured the South Carolina Senior Player of the Year award for the fourth straight year.
Hargett helped win the Carolinas Senior Four-Ball Championship, SCGA Senior Better-Ball Championship and the SCGA Lathrop Cup.
Among Hargett’s accomplishments individually for the year were qualifying for the US Senior Open and finishing as the runner-up in the SCGA Senior Championship.
He also earned a third place in the CPGA Senior Open.
“Obviously, I am very proud to win this award,” said Hargett. “This is a very competitive state and every year there are a lot of new guys that start playing, so I am proud of the consistency I have shown over the years. To be in the company of all the folks that have achieved this means a lot and gives me a lot of confidence going into an event and helps me feel like I can be competitive,” he said.
Hargett will be honored at Golf Day in January.
The ceremony includes the annual Hall of Fame inductions. This year a pair of Furman golfers and a long time junior golf leader in the state will be inducted into the state golf Hall of Fame.
LPGA star and Furman grad Sherri Turner from Greenville will be joined by another Furman grad Todd While from Spartanburg, a 4 time SCGA Player of the Year award winner as the newest members of the H-O-F.
Charles Rountree III has devoted his work with the SCGA to improving and making junior golf available to young golfers in South Carolina. He is being honored for his work.
All award winners will be honored at Golf Day in January.