Arizona Women's Golf Association

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2016 Annual Awards Bios
2016 Awards and Achievements

Player of the Year
Tui Selvaratnam
Senior Player of the Year
Kim Eaton
Tui's points in the 2016 Player of the Year rankings were earned when she qualified with partner Mari Miezwa for the US Women's 4-Ball Championship, and included three runner-up finishes at the Arizona Women's 4-Ball Championship, the Arizona Women's Amateur Match Play Championship, and the Phoenix City Championship.

Tui's career started when she was a little girl in Sri Lanka. In 1989 at age 12, she had her name engraved in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest player to win a National title, the Sri Lanka Open Amateur Championship. She has also won the Sri Lanka Ladies' Amateur Championship on four occasions. Tui moved to the USA in 1995 to attend ASU, where she assisted the Sun Devil team to NCAA titles in 1995, 1997 and 1998. After graduating ASU, Tui returned to Sri Lanka and won an astounding 10 national championships in seven months in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Philippines, India and the United Arab Emirates. She returned to Arizona and began competing in AWGA Championships in the fall of 2000. During those years, Tui won a smashing 11 Arizona State Championships, including three Match Play Championships in 2005, 2008 and 2010, and was named the AWGA Player of the Year 11 consecutive times from 2001 to 2011. In 2007, Tui led the first Arizona team to win the USGA Women's State Team Championship. Tui has successfully competed in many other USGA National Championships. Her best individual finish to date was second place in the 2006 US Women's Mid-Amateur Championship.

Tui has served on the AWGA Board of Directors and was on the original task force to create the AWGA High School Girls' Golf ''Build-a-TEAM'' program. She also works full-time for Xavier College Preparatory, as Associate Athletic Director and Co-head Varsity Golf Coach. Tui's many accomplishments on the course, as well as her mentorship of young golfers, demonstrates her commitment to the sport and makes her an inspiration to those around her. All who know her attest to her focused competitiveness, but also to her gracious attitude toward the game and toward winning.

We are very proud to name Tui Selvaratnam our AWGA Player of the year, for an unprecedented 12th time.
Kim Eaton is no stranger to winning. This is the fifth time in 7 years she's been named Senior Player of the Year. She's been an Arizona Women's Golf Association Champion more than a dozen times. In her home state of Colorado, she won at the junior, open, and senior levels and was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2006.

In 2016, Kim Eaton amassed her Senior Player of the Year points with three wins, a runner up, and a quarter-final finish. She won the Senior Jones/Doherty Women's Amateur, the Senior Trans 4-Ball Championship, and the Arizona Women's Amateur Stroke Play Championship. She finished runner up in the Senior Division of the Arizona Women's Amateur Match Play Championship, and qualified for and progressed to the quarter final round of the US Senior Women's Amateur Championship for a total of 1,750 points. Kim also earned the most points in the Player of the Year standings, but chose to accept the senior award instead. The selection policy does not allow one player to win both awards.

Kim is also a former golf professional and Futures Tour member who played in the 1981 and 1983 U.S. Women's Open's, and who claimed her first national championship in 2010 at the Ione D. Jones/Doherty Women's Amateur. She had both knees replaced in December 2015 and after a short hiatus, has resumed her winning ways. So much so, that she was invited to participate as an amateur in the Legends Tour Walgreens Charity Classic on March 2 – 5, 2017 at Grandview Golf Course in Sun City West, alongside such notable professional Hall of Famers as defending Champion Juli Inkster.

Congratulations, Kim, on being named the 2016 AWGA Senior Player of the Year.
Dorothy Pease Award
Barbara Byrnes
AWGA Rep of the Year
Patty Garbrick
Dorothy Pease and Barbara Byrnes have a lot in common: their accomplished careers as amateur golfers, their volunteer spirit, their ingenuity, and generosity in contributing to the success and growth of women's golf; both champions of junior girl's golf as volunteers for the USGA and state level programs; both directors for the Women's Trans National, and both leaders within the AWGA.

After becoming a permanent resident of Arizona in 2003, Barb won 12 AWGA tournaments and Championships between 2003 and 2007. She earned the AWGA Senior Player of the Year award an impressive four times, in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008. She has competed in 18 USGA events, including the US Women's Amateur in 2003 at age 49, and represented Arizona at the 2009 US Women's State Team Championship. Her best finish at the US Senior Women's Amateur Championship was making it to the round of 32, and at the US Mid-Amateur Championships was making it to the round of 64.

She began volunteering for the AWGA in 2000 on the Financial Advisory Committee. She was elected to the Board of Directors and served as Treasurer, and then as President, before becoming the AWGA Tournament Committee Chair where she helped "rewrite the book" on how to conduct an AWGA competition. Barb was named the 2011 AWGA Volunteer of the Year for her many outstanding contributions.

In 2012, Barb accepted a position on the USGA Women's Amateur Public Links Championship Committee. She has been a member of the USGA Regional Affairs Committee and volunteered for several US Women's Open Championships. She continues to be an active AWGA Rules committee member. When the USGA discontinued the Public Links Championship in 2015, she was appointed to the USGA Junior Girls Championship Committee, on which she still serves. Barb's most recent addition to her avocation is her leadership of the Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship as its Board President.

Inspirational as a dedicated leader, she gives her time and talent to strengthen and support the game of golf for women in Arizona and throughout the country. Her knowledge, strength, energy, and animated spirit are invaluable assets to our golf community.
AWGA Reps are liaisons between women's leagues and the AWGA. They encourage club members to participate in AWGA events and seminars, and keep club members updated through various communications and meetings. This year's AWGA Rep of the Year is Patty Garbrick of Briarwood Country Club, whose dedication, fun-loving nature, and "outside the box" thinking are a big part of what makes her a successful Rep.

Patty was Briarwood's AWGA Rep assistant in 2015, and 2016 was her first year as main AWGA Rep. Janice Aiken, President of the BCC Ladies 18 from 2015-16 characterizes Patty as an enthusiastic, dynamite "go-getter" who's impressed the whole ladies group by making golf fun for all women. She's able to make people listen when she talks about how important it is to fill out GEM surveys, or the many reasons you might want to participate in a tournament halfway across the city. If she needs to, she'll even bring in props and put on a skit to try and get her message across!

When asked what she enjoys the most about being a Rep, Patty replied. "I enjoy bringing information to my club about such a great organization that encourages golf for all ages, from those just beginning, to those in the twilight years of their game.'' She also likes meeting other Reps and swapping ideas, as well as being able to volunteer at LPGA events like the Founder's Cup and Walgreens Charity Classic, where she can help answer questions for people interested in learning more about golf. Former AWGA Board Member and Briarwood's Rules Chair Cindy Bryniarski shares with us that Patty even goes out of her way to support Briarwood's Medallion players by bringing them snacks and hand warmers on game days! Briarwood is fortunate to have Patty as their AWGA Representative, and we are happy to name her the 2016 AWGA Rep of the Year.
Kathy Ehrich Volunteer of the Year
Melanie Bridges
Host Club of the Year
Briarwood Country Club
Volunteering and golf have been two threads woven throughout Melanie Bridges' life. A Maryland native, she started volunteering in her early 20's for the Girl Scouts, took up golf around the same time she was serving as Vice-President of the Marianas Naval Officers' Wives Club, and later became the first female President of the Central Chapter of the Arizona Society of CPAs (Central Chapter) and Colorado Society of CPAs (Durango Chapter). After an absence from golf after her first husband passed away, Melanie happily took up the game again in the late 1980s.

Melanie and her second husband, Dick, moved to Prescott Country Club in the fall of 1991, and in 1999 Melanie decided to join the AWGA Course Rating Committee. It sparked a passion for her, and she climbed the ranks to Captain and then to Course Rating Committee Chair, a position she's held since 2008. Melanie has helped lead the AWGA Course Rating Team to top finishes at numerous USGA Course Rating Calibration Seminars, takes an active interest in the progression of the Committee's volunteers, and goes on many of the ratings herself in a territory that spans all of Northern Arizona, from west to east. But it's not just Course Rating. She's also volunteered:

As Social Chair, Secretary and President of the Prescott Country Club Board of Governors. As Director, Officer at Large and Secretary of the AWGA Board of Directors from January 2009-2016. As an AWGA Rules Official for 2 years and member of the Speaker's Bureau. As Treasurer of the Northern Arizona WGA for 3 years.
Wait, there's more! In her 25 years with the Prescott CC Women, she's been on the Nominating, Invitational and Finance Committees. She's the current Chair of the Major Tournaments, Awards, and Rules Committees, and has been Handicap Certified, an AWGA Rep, a Team Captain, Treasurer, and Club President! A new project that's caught her attention is her local PGA Junior League Golf Program, now in its second year. She coaches boys and girls ages 7-16 two afternoons a week from April to July, and chuckles that one player affectionately calls her ''Granny''. The smiles and enthusiasm of the young people she mentors make her gift of time worthwhile.

Melanie is described as enthusiastic, reliable, a true leader and lover of golf who has ''poured her soul into her volunteer work at the AWGA.'' We thank her for her many contributions to women's golf, and are proud to name her the 2016 Kathy Ehrlich AWGA Volunteer of the Year.
The Host Club of the Year is selected by an objective survey measurement taken of the players in each particular event as well as the staff and volunteers who work at that event. With some very tough competition, Briarwood finished with high marks in every category in the survey. In fact, they finished first in most, namely first impression, the practice facility and course conditions, support for the tournament staff, and the 19th Hole. Players remarked that they enjoyed Briarwood's parkland design, and described it as a first class venue with ''great flow''.

The Food and Beverage team again outdid themselves. The staff does an amazing job of meeting their club members' high expectations, and they captivated everyone with the food they served. Players raved about the variety of dishes offered in this special Saturday menu, provided especially for our players.

Briarwood repeatedly stands out in one other unusual way in hosting AWGA tournaments. Since it's a private club they don't have rental carts to use. Instead, their members graciously loaned their street-legal carts to players, which were much faster ─ and better looking than ordinary rentals. It was just one of the many ways Briarwood looked after the players' needs.

We thank Briarwood for making our 2016 Season Opener such a memorable event, and congratulate them on receiving their second AWGA Host Club of the Year Award.