FAIRBORN, OHIO ー Bob Sowards, PGA of Dublin; Melissa Yeazell, PGA of Cincinnati; and Taylor Holt of Columbus captured their respective 2022 Southern Ohio PGA Professional, Senior PGA Professional, Women’s PGA Professional and Associate Player of the Year awards presented annually by Rolex in conjunction with the PGA of America and Southern Ohio Section.
Bob Sowards, PGA Director of Instruction at Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio—earned both the Southern Ohio PGA Player of the Year and Senior Player of the Year titles to cap a memorable season. Beginning earlier this year, Sowards started the season in Port St. Lucie, FL competing in the PGA Winter Championships. He brought home his first Senior Stroke Play Championship and successfully defended the Senior-Junior Team Championship with partner Ben Kern of the Northern Texas Section.
Upon his return to Ohio, Sowards took the victory in both the Main and Senior Divisions at the first SOPGA competition of the season, the Legacy Championship. His great playing continued earning top finishes at the Mid Ohio Golf Car Capital City Classic and Springfield Classic. Finishing runner-up at the 77th Southern Ohio PGA Professional Championship, Sowards highlighted the season earning his fifth consecutive Southern Ohio Senior PGA Professional Championship.
The 2022 Southern Ohio PGA Professional Player of the Year award makes Sowards the first SOPGA Member to earn the honor 20 times in their career. He first won in 1995. He is also a four-time PGA Professional Player of the Year in 2003-05 and in 2014. The 2022 Southern Ohio PGA Senior Player of the Year is Sowards’ fifth consecutive award in five years of eligibility. He also captured the 2021 PGA Senior Player of the Year title after winning previously in 2018 and 2019.
Playing in 11 eligible events, Sowards’ 1,320.00 points in the Player of the Year race outpaced the 1,235.00 accumulated by runner-up Sam Arnold, PGA from Vineyard Golf Course. Ricky Denny, PGA from Jamaica Run Golf Club finished the season in third place earning 1,021.33 points while Jeff Olson, PGA from Golf Club of Dublin earned 1,005.33 points to end the season in fourth place.
Melissa Yeazell, PGA Teaching Professional at Tri County Golf Ranch in Cincinnati, Ohio—capped a season of hard work as the Southern Ohio PGA Women’s Player of the Year. Beginning early in the year, Yeazell was on the course preparing her game to be at its best for the competitive season. She started strong with a top-three finish at the Legacy Championship in May. Yeazell’s game continued to shine in June when she finished atop the Women’s Division leaderboard at the Mid Ohio Golf Car Capital City Classic. Yeazell’s season was highlighted in September when, after 11 years, she claimed her fourth SOPGA Women’s Championship at Four Bridges Country Club.
The 2022 Southern Ohio PGA Women’s Player of the Year award is her third title throughout her career as an SOPGA Member. She previously won in 2004 and 2005.
Yeazell’s 620.00 points outpaced the 485.00 accumulated by runner-up Ashley Thomas, PGA from GOLFTEC – Blue Ash. PGA Associate from NCR Country Club Hannah McCrabb finished the season in third place earning 205.00 points while Krissy Olson, PGA from Golf Club of Dublin earned 200.00 points to end the season in fourth place.
Taylor Holt, Associate Assistant Professional at The Lakes Golf and Country Club in Columbus—captured the Southern Ohio PGA Associate Player of the Year title. Through seven eligible events this season, Holt finished top-five or better in all of them. He claimed his first win of 2022 in the Associate Division of the SOPGA Stableford Championship at Dayton Country Club in June. The following week he finished tied atop the Division’s scoreboard at the Mid Ohio Golf Car Capital City Classic at The Medallion Club. Holt earned his final win of the season at the New Albany Classic at New Albany Country Club in September.
The 2022 Southern Ohio PGA Associate Player of the Year award is his first title since beginning the Associate Program in 2019 in the Southern Ohio Section.
Holt’s 1,020.00 points outpaced the 800.00 accumulated by runner-up Ian Prats from Maketewah Country Club. Darrin Grove from The Golf Club finished the season in third place earning 665.00 points while Adam Taulbee from Elks Run Golf Club of Dublin earned 535.00 points to end the season in fourth place.