Perhaps it was inevitable given how formidable the Colorado PGA's senior players have been in recent years, but 2018 marks a notable first nevertheless.
In an unprecedented accomplishment, one person has swept the Colorado PGA's honors as both the Dow Finsterwald Player of the Year and the Senior Player of the Year.
Doug Rohrbaugh (left) of Carbondale did the honors in 2018, and tonight (Nov. 2) at Colorado Golf Club in Parker he'll receive both awards during the Section's Special Awards Gala.
It's a notable feat in several respects, beyond the aforementioned:
-- Rohrbaugh, 56, earned the overall POY honor for the first time, despite having won the Colorado PGA Professional Championship three times -- all as a senior golfer.
-- Rohrbaugh's POY award snaps a run of four straight wins in the category by Geoff Keffer, who earned the honor five times overall from 2012-17.
-- It's the fourth time Rohrbaugh has been the Section's Senior POY, following up on 2012, '13 and '14. Only one golfer has been the SPOY more times (Dave Arbuckle, with five), while Bill Majure has four like Rohrbaugh.
Rohrbaugh recorded eight wins -- or ties for first place -- over the course of the 2018 Colorado PGA season, including in the season-long Match Play Championship. That's in addition to being medalist in U.S. Senior Open qualifying at The Broadmoor. That was one of two PGA Tour Champions majors in which Rohrbaugh competed in 2018, the other being the Senior PGA Championship. He also recently finished 57th in the national Senior PGA Professional Championship.
"My goal all along has been Player of the Year," Rohrbaugh, now a sales representative for AndersonOrd Golf Apparel, said after tying for second place in the Colorado PGA Professional Championship in September. "I've never been able to do it because I could never play enough events. This year, I've been able to play everything."
In another first, the Colorado PGA this year is naming its inaugural Women's Player of the Year, with Sherry Andonian-Smith of Centennial earning that distinction in 2018. Like Rohrbaugh, she's 56 years old, another example of the Section's depth of quality senior players.
Andonian-Smith recently became the first woman to compete in the national Senior PGA Professional Championship, placing 29th out of 264 players. She also qualified for the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open. And she won the Colorado PGA West Chapter Championship for the second time in three years. That was one of two victories for her in CPGA events in 2018. In addition, she and Alexandra Braga became the first women from the Colorado PGA to qualify for the national PGA Professional Championship.
Here are the theColorado PGA award winners who will be honored tonight, including Golf Professional of the Year Ty Thompson (READ MORE):
Golf Professional of the Year -- Ty Thompson, Crosshairs Consulting.
Dow Finsterwald Player of the Year -- Doug Rohrbaugh, AndersonOrd Golf Apparel.
Senior Player of the Year -- Doug Rohrbaugh, AndersonOrd Golf Apparel.
Women's Player of the Year -- Sherry Andonian-Smith, Valley CC.
Associate Player of the Year -- Ben Lanting, Bear Creek GC.
Teacher of the Year -- Dan Sniffin, Omni Interlocken Resort.
Bill Strausbaugh Award (mentoring fellow PGA professionals) -- Stuart Bruening, The Golf Club at Bear Dance.
Assistant Professional of the Year -- Ed Marzec, Country Club of the Rockies.
Horton Smith Award (exceptional contributions to promote and improve PGA educational programs) -- Ben Welsh, Frost Creek Club.
Player Development Award -- Trent Wearner, Trent Wearner Golf Academy.
Youth Player Development Award -- Erin Diegel, Legacy Ridge Golf Course.
Warren Smith Award (special contributions to game of golf, the Colorado PGA, junior golf and their facility) -- Kyle Heyen, Hiwan Golf Club.
Private Merchandiser of the Year -- Jake O'Dell, The Club at Flying Horse.
Resort Merchandiser of the Year -- Jeff Hanson, Red Sky Golf Club.
Public Merchandiser of the Year -- Brian Carlson, Walnut Creek Golf Preserve.
President's Award (promoting and enhancing PGA professionals, the PGA Section and the game of golf and contributing to the betterment of the golf professional vocation) -- Allen Walters, Colorado AvidGolfer.
Noble Chalfant Inductees (lifetime distinction for PGA members) -- Clayton Cole, Dow Finsterwald, Bill Majure.
Todd Phipers Media Award -- Joe Cole, Fox21 in Colorado Springs
(Updated Nov. 3) Vic Kline Award (to Section board of directors member for outstanding service and leadership for the Section) -- Spencer Zinn, West Edge Energy.