METAIRIE, La. – Tim Yelverton, PGA of Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss. has earned the highly coveted title of 2013 Gulf States PGA Sterling Cut Glass Player of the Year. This marks the first year Yelverton has achieved this season-ending honor.
Yelverton earned 1,200 points over the course of the 2013 season while on his mission to top the Section’s points list, which tracks a player’s participation and scores in tournaments during the calendar year.
Yelverton said he made a few key changes to his game this year with the intent of positioning himself to win this award.
“It’s a combination of playing more often and practicing more efficiently,” said Yelverton. “I try to get in twenty minutes of practice in the morning before lessons. I’m definitely shooting better scores.”
Yelverton started off the season on the right foot, winning the Gulf States Pro-Assistant Championship/Pro-Pro in March and following up with a win at the Ladd’s/Club Car Mississippi PGA Championship in June. He finished off the rest of the year with top ten finishes in the Mississippi PGA Trustmark Invitational (T3), the Gulf States Section PGA Professional Championship (T5) and the E-Z-GO Gulf States Section Championship where he placed second.
“Winning the Player of the Year Award was my goal this year,” said Yelverton. “I also wanted to win the Section Championship or PNC qualifier, but that didn’t happen. I achieved half my goal; I’m OK with that.”
Yelverton said his steady, consistent game is what earned him Player of the Year status, a status he is eager to maintain next year.
“I am looking forward to defending my title in 2014,” said Yelverton. “Old Waverly is already set to host the Trustmark Invitational and Mississippi Chapter Championship; it will be fun to play at home.”
The Section’s Senior Player of the Year for 2013 with 765 points is Reed Hughes of Senatobia, Miss. This is a welcome and familiar honor for Hughes, who has won this award several times since earning senior status in addition to winning Section Player of the Year in 1989.
Hughes said that while he struggles with ailments that come with age, he continually tries to find ways to boost his confidence and enhance his game.
“I’ve been doing Titleist fittings and demo days for the past three years which has taught me a lot and kept me active,” said Hughes. “I have good equipment now that fits me. It’s made a difference.”
Hughes’ big finishes for the year include the Ladd’s/Club Car Mississippi PGA Championship (T3), E-Z-GO Gulf States Section Championship (T15), Gulf States Section PGA Professional Championship (T20) and Mississippi PGA Trustmark Invitational (T7). The season highlight for Hughes was his win at the Gulf States Section Senior Professional Championship which earned him a spot in the 25th Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship presented by Mercedes-Benz USA.
Hughes said he was determined to play well after a challenging start to the final round.
“I woke up in the morning of the last round and my car wouldn’t crank,” laughed Hughes. “I didn’t have enough time to warm up. I just made sure I got the job done.”
With the eventual cancellation of this year’s Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship due to rain, Hughes said he plans to keep up his game with hopes of doing well enough in the postponed event to qualify for the 2014 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid to be played at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich.
Hughes said he is already set to play in the PGA Senior Stroke Play next month at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL, which he knows will serve as a great practice round for the rescheduled Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship being held at the club this Spring.
Topping the points list for Apprentice-Assistant Player of the Year with 487.50 points is first-time winner Kyle Ramey of Windance Country Club. Ramey experienced great success this year, earning second in the Mississippi PGA Trustmark Invitational, tying for runner up in the National Car Rental Gulf States PGA Assistant Championship and capping off the season with a win at the E-Z-GO Oliver Counce Six Pro Championship earlier this December.
Representing the Louisiana Chapter is Cory Cooper, PGA of New Orleans Country Club who earned the Chapter’s Player of the Year title for 2013 with 1,222.50 points. Cooper kept himself busy this season collecting significant points in the Golf Cars of Louisiana/Club Car Louisiana PGA Championship where he placed first, the National Car Rental Gulf States PGA Assistant Championship (T7), the Gulf States Section PGA Professional Championship (T14) and the E-Z-GO Gulf States Section Championship (T10). Other notable finishes include tying for first in the Bushnell Three Pro Championship and tying for fourth in the E-Z-GO Oliver Counce Six Pro Championship.
The Gulf States PGA Section Player of the Year award is sponsored by Sterling Cut Glass. The Section wishes to thank to Alvin Newell and SCG for their support of the awards.