Sep 28, 2018

GLENVIEW, Ill. – September 28, 2018 – While the Illinois PGA Section season continues through the end of October, the tournaments at which Player of the Year points are awarded were completed this week at the Illinois PGA Players Championship at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa in Galena, Ill. It was at this final points event that Travis Johns (Medinah CC) finished in second place to earn 480 points and move up to First Place ahead of Brian Carroll (Royal Hawk CC), who was leading heading into the event, and claim Bernardi Player of the Year honors. This is his fourth Bernardi Player of the Year title in eight years.

Jeff Kellen (Mauh-Nah-Tee See Club) was leading the Don Drasler Assistant Player of the Year standings heading into the Players Championship and only solidified his number one spot with a first place finish at the tournament to earn 600 points and secure the Assistant Player of the Year award.

“We have some very talented PGA Professionals in the Illinois Section and each season the Player of the Year races are close and often come down to the final events of the season, much like they did this year,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Section. “Travis and Jeff both played very consistently throughout the season and performed well at major events. Congratulations to both of them for this outstanding achievement.”

Johns, a native of Australia and Director of Instruction at Medinah CC, has been working in the Illinois Section since 2010. He was extremely consistent in all 10 tournaments he participated in, never finishing outside the Top 10 including two second place finishes at Stroke Play #3 at Onwentsia Club and the Players Championship at Eagle Ridge.

“To win my fourth Player of the Year award is a great honor,” said Johns. “I could not have won without the support of my professional colleagues and members at Medinah. I’d like to thank the Illinois PGA staff for managing such great events as well as the sponsors and golf courses that make it possible for us to play our tournament season.”

Kellen, who hails from Rockford, Ill., returned to his hometown this spring after several years on the mini-tour circuit to take an Assistant Professional role at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Club and begin the PGA PGM Associate Program. This position allowed him to work at a golf facility and teach as well as compete in the various Illinois PGA Section tournaments throughout the season. Kellen participated in 12 tournaments and won three of them including two Stroke Play events as well as the recently concluded Players Championship.

“To win Assistant Player of the Year was a goal of mine this season and to win it is very exciting for me. I couldn’t be happier,” said Kellen. “The Illinois PGA Section allows us to compete and play on some great courses against some great players and I feel fortunate to win this award.”

Kellen is the second Rockford-based Assistant Professional in as many years to win the Don Drasler Assistant Player of the Year award as Chris French (Aldeen Golf Club) took home the honors last year. Jim Billiter (Kemper Lakes GC) won the Bernardi Player of the Year in 2017.

Carroll finished T-10 at the Players Championship to claim second in the Bernardi Player of the Year standings and Dakun Chang (Twin Orchard CC), who did not compete in the Players Championship, finished in third place in the standings.
In the Assistant Player of the Year race, two Mistwood Golf Club professionals, Andy Mickelson and Chris Ioriatti, finished in second place and third place respectively.
CLICK HERE to view the Bernardi Player of the Year standings
CLICK HERE to view the Don Drasler Assistant Player of the Year standings
About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Palmer Moody
Illinois PGA Communications
847.804.2721 mobile