Brad Nurski of St. Joseph and Steve Groom of Raytown won the MGA points race and thus earned MGA Player of the Year honors in the open and senior divisions respectively. They received their awards at the recent players’ dinner during the Hieronymus Cup matches at the Country Club at St. Albans.
Nurski finished as the runner-up in both the Missouri Stroke Play Championship and the Payne Stewart Invitational and made it to the round of 32 at the Missouri Amateur. But his year was highlighted with his play at the US Mid-Amateur Championship. He won the local mid-am qualifier at his home club, St. Joseph CC, to earn his second trip the US Mid-Am.
Brad and Scott Harvey tied for the qualifying medal at Saucon Valley CC in Bethlehem, PA and then each went on to run the table in their respective match play brackets to set up a rare #1 versus #2 seed in the championship match. Brad played tough in the final but ran out of magic on the back nine of the second 18 in the championship match and lost to Harvey.
Nurski recently capped off his great year at Bellerive CC by earning one of the three qualifying spots (with partner Skip Berkmeyer) into the first USGA Four-Ball Championship next spring at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. He also was a member of Missouri’s entry into the US State Team Championship at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort in Indiana. He, Berkmeyer, and Phil Caravia acquitted themselves very well with a 4th place finish our of 52 teams.
This is Brad’s first MGA Player of the Year award.
Steve Groom is making a habit of winning the MGA’s Senior Player of the Year with his fourth consecutive award and his fifth in the last six years. Simply put, Steve is the player to beat in every statewide senior tournament he enters. The Missouri Senior Amateur is the only major title to elude him during his run of titles. This year he finished T3 at the state senior championship at the Country Club of Missouri as he faltered on the back nine in his final round and couldn’t keep pace with Mark Gardiner as the latter won his second straight title.
Steve won the senior divisions at the Ozark Invitational and Payne Stewart and finished T2 at the Phil Cotton. He also finished T3 at the Missouri Mid-Amateur against the “youngsters” and made it to the round of 16 at the State Amateur. Steve is also a frequent winner in KCGA senior competitions and won their 2014 Stateline Senior Tour Championship and finished second in the KCGA’s Player of the Year race.