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Dominance ends for 2 Southern Nevada amateur golfers

Edward Fryatt and Frank Abbott won a combined 9-straight Southern Nevada Golf Association player of the year awards, but on Monday at DragonRidge Country Club during the annual awards dinner, two new players officially collected the trophies for ending their streaks.

In the championship division, Daren Johnson, a three-time champion in 2019 including the Nevada State Mid-Amateur, dethroned Fryatt, who had earned the award from 2015-2018.

“If you’re talking about guys like Brady Exber and Ed Fryatt, that’s great company to be with,” Johnson said. “Winning this means all of those late night and early morning practice sessions paid off.”

In the Silver gross division for players 61 and older (a transition to 65 and over is in process), Kevin Parrish ended Abbott’s player of the year streak at five. For Parrish, it was a journey three decades in the making, ever since he began playing in SNGA tournaments.

“I’m hitting the magic 65 this year,” Parrish said. “I started this journey when I was 38, and it’s always been a goal to be a gross division SNGA champion. I worked on my game every available minute I had and it finally paid off.”

Other players of the year honored were George Yocum (net), Jim LiCausi (senior net), John Kelley (silver net) and Todd Roberts (senior), who won the 2018 award. Tim Quinn was named SNGA volunteer of the year and Nancy Lauback was Women’s SNGA volunteer of the year. Red Rock Country Club was facility of the year and PGA Tour Superstore was named member club of the year. Bill Bowman earned media person of the year.

The annual awards dinner coincided with the Tournament of Champions, when men and women champions from area clubs and associations celebrated amateur golf in Southern Nevada. Tournament of Champions winners were Ronda Henderson (women’s championship), Margie Cashwell (women’s net), Kenny Ebalo (championship), John Horton (net), Brady Exber (senior), David Golder (senior net), Jeffrey English (silver) and Ron Clabaugh (silver net).

Roberts shares spotlight

During his acceptance speech, Roberts praised others for their big moments. He said the round of 2019 was shot by John Turk, 67, during the Las Vegas Senior City Amateur at Las Vegas Golf Club. Turk shot 63 in the final round to win. Roberts also said Exber’s quarterfinal finish at the U.S. Senior Amateur was a huge accomplishment.

Roberts also mentioned how Butch Harmon, who was in attendance, has been honored as the world’s best golf teacher in a Golf Digest poll of his peers for 20 years. Harmon stopped traveling to PGA Tour events in 2019, but still helps tour pros who visit his Rio Secco school. Last Monday, Harmon worked with Webb Simpson, who won the Waste Management Phoenix Open six days later.

Weekly deal

Clark County residents can play Legacy after 2 p.m. for $19.

Aces high

Tom Khamis, who retired as an SNGA committee member after three decades, recently knocked in a 7-iron from 130 yards on the 14th hole at Royal Links for his fifth hole-in-one.

The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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