Geoff Keffer (overall Colorado PGA Player of Year) and Doug Rohrbaugh (CPGA Senior Player of Year) earn their respective awards for 7th time; Sherry Andonian-Smith and Andy Connell also land player honors from Section
By Gary Baines – 10/27/2021
Most of the 2021 Colorado PGA award winners were announced in the middle of the summer, but several have been decided since, including the Section’s Players of the Year.
All the award winners are scheduled to be honored on Friday at the Colorado PGA Awards Gala, set for Colorado Golf Club in Parker. After earlier noting all the previously announced honorees, here we’ll focus on those earning awards for their playing performances in 2021.
In the case of three of those Colorado PGA award winners, records are being set or matched.
You have Geoff Keffer of Lakewood Country Club, named the Dow Finsterwald Player of the Year for the seventh time, matching the most ever as Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Bob Hold (1966 through ’71 and ’74) also captured the award seven times. Keffer — previously the POY in 2012, ’14 through ’17 and ’20 — won six times in Section events this year. It should be noted that he was also the CPGA’s Associate Player of the Year twice (2009 and ’10).
You have Doug Rohrbaugh, an instructor at The Snowmass Club, the Senior Player of the Year for the fourth straight time and a record seven times overall (2012 through ’14 and 2018 through ’21). He placed first among the seniors at 12 CPGA events this year and recently qualified for his fourth KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Rohrbaugh was the Dow Finsterwald POY in 2018.
And you have Sherry Andonian-Smith, an instructor at Valley Country Club who kept her monopoly on Women’s Player of the Year as she’s won the award all four years that it’s been given out. Andonian-Smith was the top female finisher at 10 CPGA events in 2021.
Meanwhile, Andy Connell of The Ridge at Castle Pines North earned the Associate Player of the Year honor for the first time after a season in which he placed No. 1 among associates at two CPGA events.
Here are the winners of all the Colorado PGA awards (updated Nov . 1):
Dow Finsterward Player of the Year — Geoff Keffer, Lakewood Country Club
Senior Player of the Year — Doug Rohrbaugh, The Snowmass Club
Women’s Player of the Year — Sherry Andonian-Smith, Valley Country Club
Associate Player of the Year — Andy Connell, The Ridge at Castle Pines North
Golf Professional of the Year — Alice Plain, Vail Golf Club
Assistant PGA Golf Professional of the Year — Ethan Malzahn, Denver Country Club
Teacher of the Year — Leighton Smith, Leighton Smith Golf
Professional Development (exceptional contributions to develop and improve PGA educational opportunities) — Brad Skupaka, GolfTec HQ
Bill Strausbaugh Award (mentoring fellow PGA professionals) — Jeremy Beck, GolfTec HQ
Warren Smith Award (special contributions to game of golf and the Colorado PGA) — Rick Cole, Life Member, formerly of Eaton Country Club
Player Development — Stefanie Ferguson, instructor for Experience Golf and CommonGround Golf Course
Youth Player Development — Jason Witczak, The Club at Pradera
Patriot Award (contributions and support to the U.S. armed forces and active-duty personal and veterans; 2021 is the first year for this award) — Paul Surniak, Cheyenne Shadows Golf Club.
Private Merchandiser of the Year — Tristen Fay, Fort Collins Country Club
Resort Merchandiser of the Year — Jim Miller, Sonnenalp Golf Club
Public Merchandiser of the Year — Cody Hasten, Haymaker Golf Course
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) — Mike Horan – Breckenridge Distillery
Charles “Vic” Kline Award (to Section board of directors member for outstanding service and leadership for the Section) — Dave Troyer, formerly of CommonGround Golf Course