A Columbia County native is the repeat winner of the Georgia State Golf Association Men’s Player of the Year award.
For Chris Waters, 2018 is starting out as a sequel to last year. Waters will be honored this month at Cherokee Town Club in Atlanta as the 2017 Georgia State Golf Association Men’s Player of the Year. He also won the award in 2016.
“The list of people who have won the award multiple times is pretty short, and it’s an honor to be on that list,” says Waters.
Since 1983-84, he is the fourth person to win the Men’s Player of the Year award at least twice. The winner is determined by a point system based on participation and finishes in GSGA and United States Golf Association events throughout the year. With his steady play, he landed atop the points list at the end of the year to capture the honors.
“I didn’t have any wins, but I had a lot of consistency and high finishes,” says Waters, whose mother Donna Zapata of Evans frequently caddies for him.
His stellar showings began in the Georgia Four-Ball Championship at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta in April. After a five-hole playoff, Waters, 30, and his partner, Billy Mitchell of Roswell, finished in second place. He notched two more top 10 finishes – T9 in the Georgia Amateur Championship at West Lake Country Club in July and sixth place in the Georgia Public Links Championship at Southern Hills Golf Club in Hawkinsville in September. He also made it to the match play round of the U.S. Amateur Championship, which trims the field from 312 competitors to the low 64 players after two days of stroke play, at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California in August.
“The U.S. Amateur is the biggest tournament I’ll ever play in,” Waters says. “It’s one of my favorites because it’s hard to get there.”
He first took up the sport during his Greenbrier High School years, playing the game with his stepfather. Waters, who lives in Atlanta now and works as an assistant controller for Rubicon Global, is happy to keep his amateur status.
“I like the competition, and I always like striving to get better,” he says. “I think there’s a difference between playing golf for fun and playing for a living.”