Few can match Shea Smyth's infectious enthusiasm for and dedication to the game of golf - and no one could catch him in the race to become County Armagh Golf Club's Golfer of the Year 2017.
The Golfer of the Year format sees points awarded in weekend qualifiers throughout the season and, having featured among the prizes time and time again, Shea did more than enough to take the 2017 crown.
With his playing handicap fluctuating between two and three since the beginning of April, Smyth was a talented player operating at a high level. While prizes arrived in almost every month, his glorious campaign perhaps peaked in the first half of May, when a blistering run of three gross 68s in the space of nine days earned him overall runner-up finishes in the Bumblebee Cup, the PGA Tankard and a Sunday Club Stableford.
County Armagh Golf Club's Golfer of the Year 2017, Shea Smyth, pictured with Vice Captain, Colm Shannon, who donated the new perpetual cup, and Club Captain, Richard Stewart.
Either side of that particularly hot streak, the affable red-head secured category honours in a Club Stableford on 8 April, a McAnenly Transport-sponsored event on 9 July and the Fairlawns Residential Home tournament on 3 September.
He also scooped a hat-trick of gross awards in a Club Stableford on 21 May, a Club Stroke on 16 July and a week later in the Scratch Cup, which was sponsored by his father Francis's business, FKP Smyth Ltd (Restoration, Painting and Decorating).
And, to put the icing on his 2017 golfing cake, Shea demonstrated his versatility by flourishing off the green markers (with a pre-qualifiers runner-up berth on 12 March); as part of a team (taking second spot alongside Tommy Mackin, Danny McGee and his old man in a Four-Ball Team Classic on 26 March); and even midweek (filling second position yet again in the Wednesday Open on 9 August).
The accomplished 22-year-old becomes the inaugural recipient of the new Golfer of the Year perpetual trophy, which was so generously donated by Vice Captain, Colm Shannon. At the presentation ceremony, Club Captain, Richard Stewart, congratulated him on a “wonderfully successful year”.
“Shea displayed remarkable ability and consistency this season. He also has a really good attitude on the course, a trait that is often remarked upon by members. He is a worthy winner of the Golfer of the Year title. Shea's obvious love for the game is great to see, and he has many more years of golfing enjoyment and triumph to look forward to.”