After being named the PGA of BC's Player of the Year, Chilliwack's Brad Clapp could snag an even bigger honour this week.
Clapp had a breakthrough 2012, winning both the PGA of BC Assistants' and Zone Championship titles and adding several other top-10 results. Clapp's yearly earnings of $10,784 were the best in the province, earning him the 2012 PGA of BC Order of Merit, along with the top player award.
"It means a lot," Clapp told the Times last week. "There's a lot of guys who have won it before me who have gone on to do real good things, so to put my name up there with older guys in the industry who have won Player of the Year is pretty cool."
This week, Clapp will be keeping a close eye on his computer to see if he can add the PGA of Canada Mike Weir Player of the Year Award to his trophy case.
With one tournament left on the calendar, Clapp currently leads the race for the trophy with 100 points. But Clapp, 25, is ineligible for that last tournament-the Titleist & FootJoy Club Pro Championship of Canada at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla.-which is only open to head pros and teaching pros. The man chasing Clapp, Eric Laporte, will be playing in Florida and can take the Mike Weir trophy with a fifth-place showing or better at the event, which wraps up Wednesday.
"I've got to hope that what I did earlier in the season is good enough," Clapp said.
Whatever the outcome, though, Clapp is happy with his season. At the start of the season, he spoke about wanting to have a career like Bryn Parry, who regularly finished atop year-end earnings standings. By the end of the year, Clapp had surpassed Parry's PGA of BC earnings (although Parry still bested him on the Vancouver Golf Tour Order of Merit).
"[Parry]'s done good things and been so consistent," Clapp said. "For me to top him finally is huge because he's been dominating the Lower Mainland for quite some time now."
Clapp, a Sardis secondary school grad, says playing more helped spur his successful season.
"This is the year where I decided to play in more events, whether they're good or bad, I just kept putting myself in different situations and different tournaments, where I have the chance to improve myself every time," he said.
But he also credits his move back to Chilliwack. After a three years working as a golf pro in Kamloops, Clapp returned to the Fraser Valley and caught on as an instructor at the Chilliwack Golf & Country Club and its Chilliwack Golf Academy.
"The level of golf down here is unbelievable," he said. "To have the practice facility that we have down here, we've got unlimited potential for practicing, with a 100-yard hole, we've got grass tees, which are really hard to find on a golf course now and . . . we still have the ability to practise all year round."
In the new year, Clapp will head to Q school to take his first swing at a Canadian Tour card. If successful, the card would be another step forward in his career.
Either way, he's already impressed his boss, CG&CC general manager Bryan Ewart.
"We're very proud of his accomplishments," Ewart said.
"It's been an outstanding year for Brad. Not only what he's done personally with his golf play, but also what he's done here with the Chilliwack Golf Academy."