THE final act of Jason Day’s remarkable 2015 season came this week with the 28 year old winning the inaugural Greg Norman Medal for Australia’s best-performing international golfer.
Day won five times on the US PGA Tour this year, including his maiden Major championship at the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and became one of the select few Australian golfers to reach world No.1.
Day also finished fourth at the British Open, third on the FedEx Cup rankings and put on an amazing display of courage at the US Open at Chambers Bay when he was attacked by vertigo but still managed to finish tied ninth.
It was his second national award for his outstanding year, also recently named as the 2015 Don Award recipient by the Australian Sports Hall of Fame in October.
Day, at home with his family in the US after the birth if his second child, didn’t attend the gala dinner held at Royal Pines ahead of this week’s Australian PGA Championships, but appeared via video link with his mother Dening accepted the award personally on his behalf from Greg Norman.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to win the Greg Norman Medal, it caps off an amazing year,” Day said on the video link.
“I’d like to thank the PGA of Australia for launching this medal with Greg Norman and their support over the past 10 years.”
Day was a clear favourite in a field of eight nominees including Adam Scott, Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, Steven Bowditch, Karrie Webb, Minjee Lee and Rebecca Artis.
“Jason is a wonderful ambassador for golf and it’s fantastic to see him add the Greg Norman Medal to his list of successes,” said Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA.
Greg Norman also praised the young Queenslander, saying there was no one more deserving of the accolade than Day.
“Jason has stood out head and shoulders above all other players, both male and female, and he’s a great representative of Australian golf.”
Matt Millar and Su Oh also honoured
Complementing the pinnacle award was the 2015 PGA Tour of Australasia Player of the Year, awarded to Matthew Millar, and the 2015 ALPG Player of the Year, which was awarded to Su Oh.
Millar made a solid start to the season finishing runner-up at the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship in February before winning his first PGA Tour of Australasia title at the Holden New Zealand PGA Championship in March.
Millar hasn’t missed a cut on the PGA Tour of Australasia this season and has secured nine top-10 finishes from 12 starts.
Oh, meanwhile had four top-10 finishes from six starts and secured her first Professional victory on the ALPG Tour at the RACV Ladies Masters in February, a co-sanctioned tournament with the Ladies European Tour
Five other national Vocational awards were also presented and included:
2015 National Trainee of the Year, Rick Coleman
2014 National Trainee of the Year, Mark Alison
2015 National Club Professional of the Year, Richard Caiolfa (Rich River Golf Club)
2015 National Club Professional of the Year, Ian Pritchard (Mt Osmond Golf Club)
2015 National Teaching Professional of the Year, Stuart Leong (Albert Park Driving Range)
Jarrod Lyle recognised with Courage Award
The night also saw Jarrod Lyle honoured after receiving the PGA TOUR’s Courage Award after overcoming two battles with acute myeloid leukemia.
Lyle is in the second year of a Medical Extension granted to him due to his life-threatening illness.