The Professional Golfers Association of Europe and the sponsors, Sunderland of Scotland, have selected Keith Williams (England), Giancarlo Grappasonni (Italy) and Matz Evensson (Sweden) as the Sunderland 5 Star Professionals of the year for 2002.
The PGAE Professionals of the Year award started in 1992. Past winners include Bernard Gallacher, Dave Thomas, John Jacobs, Severiano Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and a host of leading international coaches and household names. There were five awards a year for the first eight years but the panel has now determined that there will only be three recipients a year, adding even more prestige to the honour.
Keith Williams is the English Golf Union’s national coach but the Board of the Czech Golf Federation and Professional Golfers Association of the Czech Republic also endorsed Keith’s nomination and emphasised the contribution that he has made over the years to the development of Czech players.
Keith has reacted in his usual modest way. He feels very honoured to be nominated and says that he would like to thank Neil Hotchkin, the EGU and the Czech Federations for giving him the opportunity to help develop their coaching programmes.
When he began in 1994 there were only about 2,500 golfers and three 18 hole courses in the Czech Republic. Now there are 30,000 golfers, twelve 18 hole and numerous 9 hole courses plus many other facilities including at least three state of the art indoor ranges and teaching academies. In his opinion he doesn’t think it will be too long before we begin to notice the successes of Czech players.
All three winners will be presented with their awards at the annual dinner of the PGAE on Saturday 14th December during the annual congress at Atalaya Park Golf Hotel and Resort on the Costa del Sol.
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