Andrew Stephens, Bruce Oldendick & Jesse Massie Receive KPGA Player of the Year Honors
LOUISVILLE, KY (November 18, 2020) – The Kentucky PGA Section’s Players of the Year have been finalized. Andrew Stephens, PGA Director of Instruction at Stephens Golf Center, Bruce Oldendick, PGA Head Professional at Pendleton Hills Golf Course and Jesse Massie, PGA Associate Director of Instruction at Woodhaven Country Club are the respective recipients of the KPGA’s top playing honors for the 2020 season.
Andrew Stephens has claimed the OMEGA Larry Gilbert Player of the Year, the top prize available to the Section’s Membership. By virtue of this honor, Stephens will receive an exemption into the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace – Champions Trace next July. Stephens won the 2018 Kentucky PGA Professional Championship at Kearney Hill Golf Links, but his 2020 campaign from start to finish was consistently top-level. He finished the season with low pro honors in the Pro-Pro Series Championship at Greenbrier Golf & Country Club, but prior to that he had been the runner-up at the KPGA Member Match Play Championship, the KPGA Stroke Play Championship and the Mobile Pro Shop Stableford Classic. He also recorded a T18 finish in the 101st Kentucky Open. No matter the format of play, Stephens proved his game is among the very best in the Section.
“Winning Player of the Year has always been a goal of mine since joining the Section,” Stephens stated. “I’ve had several close calls in both the Member and Assistant divisions, but always came up a place or two shy. The beginning of the tournament season was rough and I had a disappointing Section Championship. I had almost written off the chance of Player of the Year after that performance. The biggest improvement the last half of the season was my putting, particularly the final event. I always seem to perform better when the golf course is the most challenging, and Greenbrier was just that with cold temperatures and lightning fast greens. I was extremely proud of how I played but also how I managed my attitude. I knew going into that event I had to win in order to have a chance at this award, and the breaks ultimately went that way for me.”
“My goal since I was a junior golfer was to play in a PGA Tour event, so that happening at the Barbasol will be the realization of a life-long dream. My goal for 2021 is to qualify once more for the PGA Professional Championship. I qualified for the 2019 edition but have failed in the last two Section Championships. I also hope to continue the good work I did with my putting the last few months and pick up a few more yards during the offseason. It also makes me proud to have won this award during Bill Coomer’s final season as Tournament Director. Bill ran the first Kentucky Amateur I played in 2003 and he has been a big part of my tournament golf for almost two decades. I’ll certainly miss seeing him at our events and wish him well in retirement!”
While this was Stephens’ first Player of the Year award, Bruce Oldendick is no stranger to this honor and could be in the middle of a dominant stretch atop the KPGA’s Senior ranks. He is the OMEGA Senior Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons and finished the season with more than twice as many points as his closest chaser. Oldendick was the low senior at the Pro-Pro Series Championship and the KPGA Stroke Play Championship, but his two signature wins were the Section’s Senior Professional Championship at Dale Hollow State Park, which he won for the third straight season, and the Section’s Senior Match Play Championship at Lexington Country Club, the second consecutive year he has won that event. Oldendick was also the low professional in the Kentucky Senior Open where he finished in 4th place. Additionally, he was the oldest player to make the cut in the 101st Kentucky Open which resulted in a T59 finish.
“This is a group accomplishment,” Oldendick exclaimed. “I want to thank Pendleton Hills, from the owners David and Tina Bay, to our Director of Golf Stephen Cunningham, to the staff, to all of the members and our community, their support and encouragement has been overwhelming. My favorite memory from this season is winning the Titleist | FootJoy Team Championship with my partner Brian Hunt. He was so excited and remains fired up to this day about it. Winning the Senior Player of the Year is a goal I set every year. It’s very satisfying and makes me want to help our members and community play better golf. I want to thank Pendleton Hills for inviting me to come back to the club. It means the world to me. 'The Hills' is a great community and I love being part of its resurgence.”
Rounding out the Section’s Players of the Year is Jesse Massie, who is the OMEGA Assistant Player of the Year in Kentucky for the second consecutive year and the third time in the last four seasons. This past weekend, Massie competed in the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship in Florida where he finished T32 playing against other top Assistant Professionals and Associates across the country. It’s a great accomplishment for Massie, who got there thanks to winning Kentucky’s Assistant Section Championship for the second straight season. He accomplished that at Hunting Creek Country Club. Along with that victory, he collected one other win this season by winning the KPGA Stroke Play Championship at Heritage Hill Golf Club; a win that came in a sudden-death playoff over a fellow Player of the Year in Andrew Stephens.
“I was really struggling this season with my game up until our Assistants Championship in August,” Massie said. “Playing extremely solid down the stretch to capture that tournament really jumpstarted my season. My other favorite memory came at the Pro-Pro Series Championship when my partner Myles Mahan and I made birdie on the final four holes to come back and win that event. When we were on 16, Myles drained a 35-foot putt for birdie and I said to him, “That’s exactly what we needed to create a great story.” I was able to make birdie on the 17th and he made another bomb from about 30 feet on the last hole to get us into a playoff. I was able to make a short birdie putt on the playoff hole to win, and that is what I strive for in every tournament; to overcome obstacles and rise to the top.”
“For 2021, I promise to finish my PGA education and become a Class-A Member. The coronavirus made that very difficult to finish this year, and I look forward to moving up to the Member division and testing my game against those players. The best part about our Section is we have multiple great players here, and each one is humble whether they win or lose. It makes the joy of competition that much more fun knowing that it is just a game, and win or lose, we are all here for the game of golf and our friends on and off the golf course. Lastly, I want to thank Mark Krahe and Taylormade for the wonderful support they offered this year. Switching to Taylormade three years ago was the best decision I’ve ever made and it has really boosted my game.”
The Kentucky PGA Section congratulates Andrew, Bruce and Jesse on these accolades and thanks them for their quality representation of the Section both in Kentucky and beyond. The Section’s 2021 tournament schedule will be unveiled in December, setting the path for the Membership in the chase for next year’s Player of the Year honors.