Monday, January 14, 2013
The S.C. Junior Golf Association announced this week that Pinewood Junior Reona Hirai has won the prestigious 2012 Beth Daniel Player of the Year Award.
The award, presented in honor of LPGA Hall of Fame Member Beth Daniel, recognizes the top female player for the SCJGA.
The Dec. 1 issue of the Heritage Classic Foundation Rankings is the final issue of the year and the top spot at season’s end is the SCJGA Player of the Year. The Heritage Classic Foundation Rankings are based on overall finishes in tournaments across South Carolina and nationwide. Points are compiled from over 200 events conducted over the past 12 months.
Hirai started the year in 13th place and started to work her way up with a strong summer. She won the Jimmy Self Junior Festival of Flowers, the Carolina’s Junior PGA, and finished in second at the popular Blade Junior Golf Classic.
As the high school season started, solid finishes moved her to third in the rankings by the end of October. Then she went on a tear with four straight victories. The Edisto Low Country Invitational, Cheraw Fall Challenge, the SCJGA Players Championship, and the George Holiday all have her as the 2012 Champion. She managed to take over the top spot in five weeks of play over her good friend, Kelli Murphy, by a close 44 points. She finished the season with an outstanding 1751 points.
Hirai is a member of the Pinewood Girls’ and Boy’s golf teams and has helped lead the girls to three consecutive SCISA state championships.
Hirai’s 2012 accomplishments
Cheraw Fall Challenge-Champion
Edisto Low Country HS-Champion
SCJGA Tradition Four Ball-6th
Beth Daniel Junior Azalea-T10
Blade Junior Golf Classic-runner up
Carolinas Junior PGA-Champion
WSCGA Junior Girls-6th
US Junior Qualifier-qualified
SCJGA Jimmy Self-Champion
CGA Vicki DiSantis-T3
Carolinas Georgia Jr Championship- T11