2020 was far from normal, but one thing that stayed the same was the great golf played by the WPGA OMEGA Players of the Year. The winners knew they had to perform from the start, as they faced an abbreviated schedule with less competitive opportunities to earn points.
Leading the way after all the putts were holed. were Jim Schuman of Blue Mound G&CC and Josh Grisa of Blackwolf Run. Schuman was able to bring home the titles in the member and senior races, while Grisa earned the assistant honors.
OMEGA Member & Senior Player of the Year – Jim Schuman
It proved to be another unstoppable year for Scottsdale resident Jim Schuman. The Madison native who splits his time between Wisconsin and Arizona, was able to double dip and win both awards for the fourth straight season. He remains the only WPGA professional to win both honors in the same year. The winning margin in each award was again decisive and proved that the 57-year-old is still at the top of his game.
In the member race the highlights were led by a seventh WPGA Match Play Championship. He would once again navigate his way through a lineup of tough opponents and cap it off with a hard fought 22-hole victory over Ryan Helminen in the finals.
Another highlight would come at his home course as he would lead the group of WPGA professionals at the 100th Suter Ward Group at Morgan Stanley Wisconsin State Open. His tie for thirteenth overall would earn him the low WPGA professional honors for the second straight year.
In total the two events helped him compile 700 of 912.5 points that he earned throughout the year.
Other solid performances would also come at the Hornung’s Classic (T2) and the WPGA Professional Championship (T10).
In the senior race he would use the aforementioned finishes as an accessory to some very impressive performances in events reserved for seniors only. Those performances included a third straight year of winning both the WPGA Senior Stroke Play and Match Play Championships. He also would finish second at the Wisconsin State Senior Open after coming up just one shot short of a playoff.
“Yeah, it was really great,” Schuman said after his year ending Match Play win. “It means a lot, especially at the end of this year.”
The member honor is Schuman’s seventh overall (2001, 02’, 11, 17’, 18’, 19, 20’) and the senior accolade is his sixth in a row.
OMEGA Assistant Player of the Year – Josh Grisa
In his first full season as a Wisconsin PGA affiliated associate Josh Grisa was able to make an immediate impact in WPGA tournaments. The Merrill native showed that his game stacked up just fine with the best assistant professionals in the state. Over the course of the season his consistently good play would deliver him the player of the year honor.
Two major championships would provide the backbone of his point total. He would earn 540 of his 680 points at the 100th Suter Ward Group at Morgan Stanley Wisconsin State Open (low assistant professional) and the National Car Rental Wisconsin Assistant PGA Professional Championship (T5).
Combined with nice finishes at the Hornung’s Classic and Assistants Match Play he would hold off second place finisher Evan Wartgow by 10 points.
“Winning this honor is right up there in my golf accomplishments,” Grisa said. “It ranks near how I played my final year at UW-Stout. It was great we were able to have a season of competing in tournaments.”
Adding a cherry on top of the year, Grisa would team up Dan Hastreiter in late August to win the Premier Golf & Utility Vehicles Pro-Assistant title. The coveted crown does not count towards the assistant professional race but it is one of the most sought victories in the section.
Grisa is the second straight assistant professional from Destination Kohler to win the OMEGA Assistant Player of the Year award. David Bach of Whistling Straits was able to accomplish the feat last year.
Full Standings – Assistant