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Mueller, VanCleave and Carter Earn Southwest PGA Playing Awards

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Southwest PGA recently finalized its 2020 tournament awards with Jesse Mueller capturing Player of the Year honors, Matt VanCleave the Assistant Player of the Year award and Jim Carter the Senior Player of the Year.

Mueller, 37, PGA Director of Golf at Grand Canyon University Golf Course, took the lead in the points race after winning the 63rd Southwest PGA Championship/PPC at SouthShore C.C. in Henderson, Nev. His 54-hole total of 203 (-10) was one stroke better than runner-up Chris Dompier, the PGA Head Golf Professional at Skyline C.C. in Tucson, Ariz. The victory was Mueller’s second (2017) Southwest PGA Championship/PPC title. He followed the victory up with strong finishes in the final three majors: a T8 finish in the 77th Arizona Open Championship, a semi-final finish in the 45th Southwest PGA Match Play Championship and T6 in the Spring Masters Championship. Mueller finished with a 69.12 scoring average on the season and carded a total of 77 birdies and four eagles, averaging 4.53 birdies per round. He played the par 5’s at a 4.53 average, par 4’s at 3.96 and the par 3’s at 2.93. His runner-up finish in the final player series event sealed his first Southwest PGA Player of the Year award by 30 points over VanCleave.


VanCleave, 38, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Superstition Mountain Golf & C.C., won the inaugural Southwest PGA Assistant Player of the Year award. In the first half of the season, he finished no lower than T3 in any PING Player Series event. VanCleave finished T10 in the 63rd Southwest PGA Championship/PPC before winning his first Southwest PGA major with a victory in the 45th Southwest PGA Match Play Championship. He closed out the season with a T2 finish in the Assistant PGA Professional Championship, runner-up in the Spring Masters Championship and third place in the Player Series at Pine Canyon Club. VanCleave recently competed in the 44th National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship in Florida where he posted a four-round total of 290 (+2) and tied for 25th place. He finished with a 70.70 scoring average on the season and carded a total of 99 birdies (second in the Southwest PGA), averaging 4.30 per round. He played the par 5’s at 4.68, the par 4’s at 3.95 and the par 3’s at 3.16. The runner-up this year, VanCleave earned the 2018 Southwest PGA Player of the Year award, his first in the Southwest PGA.


Carter, 59, PGA Life Member, participated in all senior events in 2020, earning top 10 finishes in the first four senior player series events. At the end of the season, Carter finished T2 in the Southwest PGA Senior Championship/PPC and followed that up with three consecutive victories in the Senior Player Series at Red Rock C.C., the 2020 Arizona Open Senior Championship and the Senior Player Series at Pine Canyon Club in Flagstaff, Ariz. He finished with a scoring average of 69.82 that included 73 birdies - an average of 4.29 per round for the year. He played the par 5’s at 4.55, the par 4’s at 3.95 and the par 3’s at 3.11. This is the third Senior Player of the Year award for Carter (2015, 2016). Randy Wittig, 60, PGA Director of Instruction at Gainey Ranch G.C., finished as the runner-up in the Senior Player of the Year race.

About The Southwest Section PGA:
The Southwest Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in Arizona and Southern Nevada who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Southwest PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, junior golf programs and events, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With 1284 members and associate Professionals, the Southwest PGA is the fifth largest of the 41 regional entities or Sections that comprise the PGA of America.  For more information about the Southwest PGA, please visit www.southwestpga.com and join us on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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