Lepp and Mackenzie Earn PNGA Player of the Year Honors

Dec. 28, 2005

SEATTLE - Washington golfers James Lepp and Paige Mackenzie have been named the 2005 Pacific Northwest Golf Association's men's and women's Players of the Year, the PNGA announced.

The Player of the Year candidates were nominated by the various state and provincial golf associations that comprise the PNGA (Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington State), and were selected by a vote of the PNGA Championship Committee and members of the Northwest Golf Media Association. The awards will be officially presented at the PNGA Annual Meeting next spring.

Lepp, a senior from Abbotsford, B.C., took home medalist honors at the 2005 NCAA Men's Golf Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. He rallied from a six-shot deficit with a course-record 7-under 63 to force a playoff with Pepperdine's Michael Putnam. Lepp then sunk a two-foot putt on the third playoff hole to win the title. Led by the first team All-American's furious charge, Washington placed third as a team, the best finish in the program's history.

Lepp followed his NCAA win by spending his summer helping Canada win the 2005 Copa de las Americas title in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He also won his fourth-straight British Columbia Amateur Championship and finished fourth at the Sahalee Players Championship. Lepp capped the summer by winning the stroke play portion of the U.S. Amateur by four strokes, shooting a 5-under 135 in the 36-hole event.

In the fall, Lepp led the Huskies with a 72.08 stroke-average in four events, and placed second at the Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge in early October.

Mackenzie, a senior from Yakima, Wash., placed 10th at the 2005 NCAA Women's Golf Championship, the best individual finish in Husky history. She helped Washington to a 14th-place finish at the tournament, the second best performance in team history.

The two-time All-American followed up her NCAA performance by finishing first at the U.S. Open qualifier in Denver and then placing second at the Colorado Open. She completed her two-week stay in Colorado by placing 13th at the U.S. Women's Open, third-highest among amateurs at the event. Mackenzie was the runner-up at the Pacific Northwest Golf Association's Amateur Championship before winning the Women's Trans National Golf Association championship at the Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C. She also advanced to the semifinals of the 103rd North and South Women's Amateur Championship.

Mackenzie continued to excel in the fall, placing second individually while helping Washington to a second place finish at the Topy Cup in Fukushima, Japan. She followed that up by placing fourth at the Stanford Intercollegiate, and finished the fall with a team-best 70.83 stroke average. She enters the spring season as the nation's top-rated women's golfer, according to Golfweek magazine.

Lepp and the Washington men's golf team start the 2006 spring season at the Waikoloa Invitational in Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 8-10. Mackenzie and the Husky women open their spring season at the Regional Challenge in Los Angeles, Calif., Feb. 13-15.

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