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Players of the Year
U.S. KIDS GOLF ANNOUNCES 2016 PLAYERS OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY HONDA
Awards presented to top boy and girl golfers during
The Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, on February 21st
NORCROSS, GA. – U.S. Kids Golf announced that Honda, the Official Vehicle of U.S. Kids Golf, will present the 2016 U.S. Kids Golf Player of the Year Awards for the third consecutive year during the Honda Classic golf tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on February 21, 2017.
This year’s winners are Karoline Tuttle, age 13, from Lake Mary, Fla. and Shawn Coultoff, age 10, of Winter Garden, Fla. Honda provided special invitations for the winners and their families to attend the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort where the young players will receive their awards.
The award is presented to the top-rated boy and girl for their competitive golf season. To be eligible, players must earn Player of the Year honors at a U.S. Kids Golf Local Tour in the United States. This is done by winning the Local Tour points standings and competing in four or more events within a season from the previous year's summer season through the current year's spring season. Players must participate in an 18-hole age group during the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship (Girls 10 and older, Boys 9 and older).
The National Player of the Year Award winner is the highest finisher at the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship who meets the above criteria. In the event of a tie, the lowest score relative to par at the event determines the winner.
Tuttle finished 1st in the Girls 12 division for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship and Coultoff finished in 2nd place in the Boys 9 division for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, NC.
“The U.S. Kids Golf National Player of the Year Award is the highest honor that we can bestow on these great junior golfers,” stated Dan Van Horn, President and CEO for U.S. Kids Golf. “We are very proud of Karoline and Shawn’s accomplishments made throughout the year in competitive play, and we look forward to watching their golf games develop in the future. Honda has been an outstanding partner for U.S. Kids Golf and we look forward to joining them as we recognize our Players of the Year for 2016”.
Tuttle began playing golf at the age of 6 where she was introduced to the game of golf by her father, and she played in her first competition at the age of 9. Her competitive golf record includes over 26 first place finishes, three State titles and several local Player of the Year titles. She was runner-up in in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships at Pinehurst in 2014, and 2015 and she captured the World Championship title in 2016 for her age group. She was the first player in history to win all possible event titles during the World Championship including the Parent/Child Championship, the U.S. Kids Golf Team Championship, The World Championship, The Van Horn Cup and she received the Morrison Medal for the low team score during the Van Horn Cup.
Karoline is a seventh grade honor student at Annunciation Catholic Academy. When she is not practicing and play golf, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing soccer and basketball with her twin brother Karter and mentoring young golfers. Her dream for the future is to play collegiate golf and to continue to have fun playing the game. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of her role model and favorite LPGA player, Paula Creamer who she had the opportunity to play with in the LPGA Tour Championship Pro-Am.
“I am grateful that U.S. Kids Golf has provided me the opportunity to play competitively, and it is an honor to be recognized as the U.S. Kids Golf Player of the Year,” said Tuttle. “I have made many close friends around the world by playing golf, which makes the time I spend in Pinehurst during the World Championship even more fun and special. I love playing golf and will always remember it all started with U.S. Kids Golf.”
Shawn began swinging his first golf club at age 2, and was introduced to the game of golf by his father, who played collegiate golf and 7 years of professional golf. He has finished 1st in over 65 tournaments including 21 in 2016. He finished 8 under par during the 2016 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship. In addition to enjoying playing competitive golf, Shawn plays in the Junior Magic Basketball League, plays tennis and soccer, studies piano and enjoys hanging out with his sister Mackenzie and friends. He is an avid reader, and he is currently a 4th grade honor roll student at Whispering Oak Elementary School. Shawn looks forward to following in his father’s footsteps playing college and professional golf and possibly joining his PGA TOUR idols Rickie Fowler, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as a PGA TOUR player in the future.
“I have made a lot of my best friends while playing on the U.S. Kids Golf Tour,” stated Coultoff. My game has improved, and my hard work and practice have started to pay off. It is an honor to be selected as the 2016 U.S. Kids Golf Player of the Year and I am excited to receive this award during the Honda Classic.”
Winning the National Player of the Year Award will offer Tuttle and Coultoff an exemption for all U.S. Kids Golf events through age 18. Additionally, Honda invited both winners to an experience of a lifetime to participate in the Honda Classic Gold Pro-Am during the Honda Classic. The award winners and their families will be guests of Honda during the Classic.
“Honda is pleased to continue to work with the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, which is dedicated to family interaction and helping kids to have fun learning and playing the game of golf,” said Jeff Conrad, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Honda. “We are honored to support the achievements of these young golfers and celebrate their accomplishments at the Honda Classic. We are excited to present the Player of the Year award to Karoline and Shawn, and we wish them both success in the future.”
2015 Players of the Year
Yae Eun Kim
2014 Players of the Year
2013 Players of the Year
2012 Players of the Year
How Do I Become the National Player of the Year?
The U.S. Kids Golf National Player of the Year Awards will be given each year to one boy and one girl. To be eligible, players must earn Player of the Year honors at the Local Tour level. This is done by winning the Local Tour points standings and competing in four or more events within a season from the previous year's summer season through the current year's spring season.
The National Player of the Year Award winner will be the highest finisher at the World Championship who meets the above criteria. Players must participate in an 18-hole age group and in the event of a tie, the lowest score relative to par at the World Championship will determine the winner.
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