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AGA NEWS


POY HONORS Beels, 66, grew up 2015


PLAYER OF THE YEAR


V DROI NII SI


MURPHY MITCHELL W


hen a knee injury curtailed some of his other athletic pursuits in the late 1980s, Murphy Mitchell turned to


golf, and it was love at first swing. His passion for the game has only


increased with competition and, in 2015, culminated with the AGA’s Player of the Year award in the Senior Division. “I had always been active in sports and needed another outlet after the knee problems kind of slowed me down,” said Mitchell, who played football at the University of Tulsa and softball on an elite level. “I took up golf and just immediately fell in love with it, (and) 2015 was one of those years when I played well at the right times, so I was very fortunate.” The highlight was winning his division of the Senior Match Play, capped by a 5-and-4 victory over Roger Kraig in the championship match. He also won his flight of the SanTan Amateur, tied for first in his division of the Southern Amateur and tied for second in the Arizona Senior Stroke Play.


In national events, his best finishes


were second in the Society of Seniors and fourth in the Trans-Miss Senior Championship. “Playing in AGA events has been


great,” Mitchell said. “The courses are really good and they do such a great job running the tournaments. “I’m very excited about (the POY


award) because the Senior Division is loaded with good players. I think it’s the most competitive because a lot of the guys are early retirees who have time to play and work on their games. You really have to play well to win in that division.”


30 | AZ GOLF Insider | PREVIEW 2016 2015


PLAYER OF THE YEAR


DNE DSIVIS


TERRY BEELS


the Legends Division. Beels played in just four events,


“S


but won his division in the Arizona Senior Stroke Play and AGA Players Cup Championship, and reached the finals of the Senior Match Play before losing 2-and-1 to Tim Bateman. “When I was playing in the Senior


Division, I didn’t think I would want to play in Legends,” said Beels, who has been competing in AGA events for nearly 50 years. “But a friend told me I would love it when the time came and he was right.”


AGA PLAYERS OF YEAR


1987 Billy Mayfair 1988 Mark Davis 1989 Mark Sollenberger 1990 Mark Sollenberger 1991 Ken Kellaney 1992 Ken Kellaney 1993 Kyle Flinton 1994 Ken Kellaney 1995 Bob Martin 1996 Ken Kellaney


1997 Jeff Kern 1998 Jeff Kern 1999 Ken Kellaney 2000 John R. Davis 2001 Ken Kellaney 2002 Ken Kellaney 2003 Ken Kellaney 2004 Ken Kellaney 2005 Bryan Hoops 2006 Ken Kellaney


2007 Jeremy Defalco 2008 Paul Welle 2009 Michael Wog II 2010 Kyle Kallan 2011 Camron Howell 2012 Andy Aduddell 2013 Trey Martin 2014 R.J. Wood 2015 Ken Tanigawa


www.azgolf.org


hort and sweet” might be the best way to describe Terry Beels’ AGA season, which marked his first in


MURPHY MITCHELL


in Pennsylvania and moved to Phoenix in the late ‘50s. He is a retired postal worker, but still works in the golf shop at Encanto Golf Course. Beels and Bateman


went head to head most of the year as they also were paired together for


every round of the Senior Stroke Play and Players Championship. Although he lost in the Match Play


championship, it was a special event for Beels because he was paired against Stan Eggen of Strawberry in the first round, marking the first time they had seen each other since they were teenagers. “That’s one more example of how


great this game is, getting reacquainted with someone you haven’t seen for 48 years,” Beels said. “It’s also one of the things I have enjoyed about AGA events over the years. You’re playing against friends, but you always want to see how well you can do against them. It has been a terrific experience.” n


TERRY BEELS


N


O E S


OIN GE


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