Graeme McDowell has been voted ‘Professional of the Year’ in the Irish Golf Writers’ Association awards for 2013, sponsored by Carr Golf Group.
The 34-year-old Ulsterman was a multiple winner on tour last year, when he captured the RBC Heritage tournament on the PGA Tour and added the Volvo World Matchplay championship and Alstom French Open titles on the PGA European Tour.
Paula Grant (Lisburn Golf Club) has been voted ‘Women’s Amateur of the Year’ and Robbie Cannon (Balbriggan Golf Club) has won the ‘Men’s Amateur of the Year’ award. Paul McGinley, the first Irishman to be elected captain of Europe’s Ryder Cup team, won the recipient of the ‘Distinguished Services to Golf’ award, which will be presented in Portmarnock Golf Club in March.
A week after missing the cut at the US Masters, McDowell bounced back with a play-off win over Webb Simpson to claim the Heritage tournament in Harbour Town and then brought that form with him across the Atlantic where he defeated Tahiland’s Thongchai Jaidee in the final at Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria. McDowell also added the French Open title to his season’s collection.
Paula Grant, a student at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, had a magnificent season in which she won the Irish Ladies Close championship at Ballybunion to add to her Irish Intervarsity championship and R&A Scholars Foundation successes. She also finished runner-up in the Irish Women’s Open Amateur Strokeplay championship.
Robbie Cannon showed skill and fortitude to claim the Irish Amateur Open championship at Royal Dublin Golf Club, which gave the former South of Ireland champion his biggest success to date.
A career amateur, 34-year-old Cannon, beat defending champion and Walker Cup player Gavin Moynihan and Scotland’s Graeme Robertson in a play-off to claim the coveted trophy.
Paul McGinley will be recognised by the IGWA for his outstanding contribution to Irish golf at the awards dinner on March 6. A three-time winner of the Ryder Cup as a player, McGinley – a four-time winner of the Irish PGA championship – has, throughout his career, offered great support for the development of junior golfers in Ireland.
The recipients will receive their awards, which have been specially designed by Tipperary Crystal, at an Awards Dinner, sponsored by Carr Golf Group, to be held at Portmarnock Golf Club.