“Rocky Mountain Section PGA Player of the Year” has a nice ring to it and three very deserving winners rang the bell in 2022.  The Section recognizes its players of the year in three categories:  The Player of the Year, Women’s Player of the Year, and Senior Player of the Year.  The Section wishes to thank ROLEX for their generous support of our events and our Players of the Year.

PGA Assistant Professional Justin Snelling, from Boise Ranch Golf Course in Boise, Idaho, is the 2022 Player of the Year in the Rocky Mountain Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America.  This marks the first time Snelling has earned this award in our Section, and he did it in convincing fashion.  Justin won the Snake River Chapter Match Play Championship, finished in a tie for 3rd in the Idaho Open, and was 7th alone, only 3 shots out, in the Section Championship to earn his Player of the Year points.  It’s also worth mentioning that Justin finished tied 2nd and tied 3rd in two team events that don’t garner any points!  The cherry on top of Snelling’s year also did not count for any Player of the Year points… He won the Assistant Championship by 16 shots, firing rounds of 64-60 to demolish a talented field.

Katie Somers, PGA Director of Instruction at River Birch Golf Course in Star, Idaho, finished in a tie for 16th place in the Section Championship.  In a non-POY points event, Katie teamed up in the Fall Pro-Pro with her brand new husband PGA Professional Ben Bryson to capture the title in the Fall Pro-Pro.  Somers’ fine play in the Section’s most important event earned her enough points to engrave her name a fifth straight time on the Women’s Player of the Year plaque.

RMSPGA members aged 50 and older compete for Senior Player of the Year honors and the 2022 winner is again Jim Empey, PGA Director of Instruction at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Boise, Idaho.  Like Snelling, Empey’s 1st place finish on the Senior side of the Snake River Chapter Match Play Championship sealed his spot as the Senior Player of the Year.  Jim also finished 2nd in the Senior Section Championship and 3rd in the Senior Idaho Open.  This is the 7th Senior Player of the Year Award for the ageless Empey.

Snelling, Somers, and Empey will formally receive their Player of the Year awards in May of 2023 at the Rocky Mountain Section PGA Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony.