Joe Highsmith and Emily Baumgart headline the Washington Golf’s Players of the Year for 2019

Updated: December 2, 2019

Washington Golf (WA Golf) has announced the 2019 Player of the Year recipients. The category winners are as follows: Men’s, Joe Highsmith of Lakewood; Women’s, Emily Baumgart of Pullman; Men’s Mid-Amateur, Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho; Women’s Mid-Amateur, Tina Papatolis of Issaquah; Senior Men’s, Tom Brandes of Bellevue; Senior Women’s, Leslie Folsom of Tukwila; Junior Boys’, Ian Siebers of Bellevue; and Junior Girls’, Gihoe Seo of Mercer Island.

The recipients were honored at the 98th WA Golf Annual Meeting, that was held Saturday, November 2, at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash.

• Joe Highsmith, Men’s Player of the Year: Highsmith, a sophomore at Pepperdine University, had top-10 finishes at the NCAA DI Regional and Sunnehanna Amateur, and top-25 finishes at the Northeast Amateur, Western Amateur and NCAA DI National Championship. He was a sectional qualifying medalist in the U.S. Amateur, a quarterfinalist in the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur, and crowned his season by winning the Sahalee Players Championship. Highsmith was twice named WA Golf’s Junior Boys’ Player of the Year (2016, 2017).

• Emily Baumgart, Women’s Player of the Year: Baumgart was the stroke-play medalist in the Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur, and would eventually make it to that championship’s quarterfinals. She had a top-10 finish in the Washington Women’s Amateur, and qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Baumgart is a redshirt junior on the Washington State University women’s golf team.

• Reid Hatley, Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year: This is the fifth year in a row that Hatley has earned this honor. He won the Oregon Open, tied for sixth in the Northwest Open, and tied for 15th in the Rosauers Invitational, all competing against the region’s PGA club professionals. Hatley won the Washington Amateur, and finished fifth in the Mexican Amateur.

• Tina Papatolis, Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year: Papatolis won this year’s Washington Women’s Mid-Amateur, and qualified for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, making the Round of 64 in that national championship. She was a semifinalist in the Pacific Northwest Women’s Mid-Amateur. Papatolis won the GSWPGA Championship, and finished third in the Washington Women’s Champion of Champions.

• Tom Brandes, Senior Men’s Player of the Year: This is the ninth time that Brandes has received this award. He won this year’s Washington Senior Amateur, the sixth time he has won the championship. He tied for third in the Senior Washington Open, had top-10 finishes in both the Pacific Northwest and Washington Men’s Mid-Amateurs, and finished fourth in the Pacific Northwest Senior Men’s Amateur.

• Leslie Folsom, Senior Women’s Player of the Year: This is the second consecutive year Folsom has received this honor. She won twice this year, the Pacific Northwest Senior Women’s Amateur and the WSWGA Senior Championship. She was a qualifying medalist for the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, making it to the Round of 32 in that national championship. She also qualified for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, and was one of four amateurs selected to play in the LPGA’s 2019 Suquamish Clearwater Legends Cup. Folsom was previously named WA Golf’s Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

• Ian Siebers, Junior Boys’ Player of the Year: Siebers has now received this award for the second year in a row. He won the individual title in the 2019 Junior America’s Cup, and was selected to play on the U.S. team in the Junior Presidents Cup. Siebers was the medalist at the WJGA Junior World Qualifier, and had top-10 finishes in five AJGA and WJGA events. He made it to the quarterfinals in the Pacific Northwest Junior Boys’ Amateur.

• Gihoe Seo, Junior Girls’ Player of the Year: Seo won four titles this season, the Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur, WJGA Players Open, WJGA District 2 Championship, and the WJGA Tournament of Champions. She also finished fourth in both the WJGA State Championship and the WJGA Western Open.