GOLF, Ill. – Feburary 2, 2023 – Brian Carroll (The Hawk Country Club) has won the 2022 Illinois PGA Bernardi Player of the Year Award. This marks the first career Player of the Year honor for Carroll who had finished inside the top five on the points list four of the last five seasons.
“I’m extremely proud and honored to win the Illinois PGA Player of the Year Award,” said Carroll. “We have so many talented players in our Section, so it really takes a full season of solid, consistent play with high finishes to win the points race. It has been one of my top three goals for a number of years, and I’m thrilled to finally achieve it after some close calls in the past.”
Illinois PGA Professionals earn Bernardi Player of the Year points in Illinois PGA Stroke Play events, the Illinois PGA Match Play Championship, the Illinois PGA Section Championship, and the Illinois PGA Players Championship. Bernardi points are also awarded for the Illinois Open Championship, PGA Professional Championship, and PGA Championship. Players earn points based on their finish against the entire field. Points are also weighted based on the strength and size of the field.
“We have some very elite players in the Illinois Section,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Section. “The Player of the Year race is always fun to watch as it unfolds throughout the course of the season. Brian performed well again this season and was able to capture his first career Illinois PGA Major Championship. We congratulate him on this outstanding achievement.”
Carroll played in nine Bernardi Player of the Year point events this year. His 2022 season was highlighted by his victory at the Nadler Golf Illinois PGA Professional Championship. Carroll won this event in a three-hole aggerate playoff against Mike Small (University of Illinois) to claim his first career Illinois PGA Major Championship.
“The biggest highlight of the season without question for me was winning the Illinois PGA Professional Championship,” said Carroll. “To win an event of that caliber, you need to play well and have some things go your way at the right time. I played solid golf that whole event but played my best golf of the season coming down the stretch to shoot five under on the last nine to get into a playoff, and then made birdies on two of three holes in the playoff to win versus Mike Small, a 13-time champ of the event. I had lost that event in a playoff in 2018, so it was very gratifying to see my golf game hold up under that amount of pressure to accomplish that goal. I’m humbled to see my name listed among some of the legendary players on that trophy.”
Carroll nearly snagged his first Major Championship earlier in the 2022 season at the Illinois PGA Match Play Championship at Elgin Country Club. Carroll fell short to Chris Nieto (Exmoor Country Club) in the Championship Match to finish runner-up for the second time in four years. He also finished T7 at the Illinois PGA Players Championship at Lake Shore Country Club and T37 at 73rd Illinois Open Championship at White Eagle Golf Club.
In addition to Major Championships, Carroll finished T2 at the Illinois PGA Stroke Play at The Hawk Country Club and T11 at the Illinois PGA Stroke Play at Elgin Country Club. In total, Carroll finished inside the top 10 at four of the nine Bernardi Player of the Year point events he appeared in. He also appeared in the National PGA Professional Championship in Austin, Texas in April. Despite missing the cut, Carroll was one of nine Illinois PGA Professionals to qualify for this event in 2022.
The Illinois PGA Player of the Year Award is named after Sam Bernardi. Bernardi was a member of the Illinois PGA from 1926-1972, holding positions at Briergate Country Club, Old Elm Club and Indian Hill Club, and was a tremendous player on the Illinois PGA circuit.
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 www.ipga.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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Illinois PGA Communications