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AGA NEWS 2015


PLAYER OF THE YEAR


SIVI DNEP OI


KEN TANIGAWA


Tanigawa’s big wins claim POY honors for 2015


Bojalad, Mitchell, Beels also honored


n BY JOHN DAVIS I 28 | AZ GOLF Insider | PREVIEW 2016


t would be an understatement to say that Ken Tanigawa made the most of his limited opportunities in AGA events in 2015.


Tanigawa, 48, played in just two


events, but both were majors and both times he walked away with the championship trophy, winning the Arizona Amateur and Arizona Mid- Amateur. Those victories earned him the AGA Player of the Year award. “Because of scheduling conflicts and


life responsibilities, I was really limited in the number of events I could play in,” Tanigawa said. “But I did play pretty well when I had the chance, so I guess it all worked out for the best.” Tanigawa had blitzed the field for an


eight-stroke victory in the 2014 Mid- Amateur. He successfully defended that title but it wasn’t nearly as easy in 2015 as he trailed Ken Kellaney by three shots


KEN TANIGAWA


entering the final round at Mirabel Golf Club. But Tanigawa fired a bogey-free 67 to win by two over Jeff New. “To be able to come back and win


that event again was pretty special,” Tanigawa said. “I had a lot of great feelings about that. I played a solid round, kept it in play and didn’t make mistakes, and that’s what it usually takes in the big events.” Three weeks earlier, Tanigawa earned


his first Arizona Amateur with a 4-and- 2 victory over Austin Fletcher of Mesa Community College. Fletcher quickly took a 2-up lead


when he birdied the third hole, but Tanigawa won three of the next four and never trailed again. He notched six birdies and an eagle in one 10-hole stretch and his final birdie in that run, on the par-5 16th hole, closed out the match. The key moment came at the 10th


hole, where Tanigawa chipped in for a birdie and Fletcher missed a 4-foot birdie putt, giving Tanigawa a 1-up lead. “That was the turning point,”


Tanigawa said. “It really looked like that hole was going to go one way and it went the other way. From that point on, it all just happened so fast. Momentum is such a big factor in match play and that swung all the momentum my way.”


www.azgolf.org


N O


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