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Annette Gaiotti // Senior Women’s Player of the Year
By Kurt Kragthorpe
Senior Women’s Player of the Year: Annette Gaiotti
The surprise of the Senior Women’s Stroke Play Championship was not that Annette Gaiotti won the 36-hole event by five strokes, even with a wobbly finish. The bigger discovery was found on another page of the tournament scoreboard, listing the Super Senior results.
Same name, much bigger margin of victory. Really, though? Gaiotti is a Super Senior? Actually, she has been in that category for a couple of years, and that’s another compliment to the state of her game at age 67.
The first part of that sentence seems disputable. Gaiotti is the Utah Golf Association’s Senior Women’s Player of the Year for the fifth time since the UGA’s 2012 merger with the Women’s State Golf Association (Sue Nyhus, who has turned professional, won the other four awards). Gaiotti’s Senior Stroke Play victory in late September highlighted her year. She also collected points with respectable performances in fields filled with much younger players in the Women’s State Amateur, the Women’s Stroke Play Championship and the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Women’s Open. Her willingness to keep competing at that level helps explain why she keeps winning the Player of the Year award.
Gaiotti lost in the semifinals of the Women’s Senior State Amateur, via Marie Needham’s remarkable comeback. Yet she posted 170 points for the season to 147.5 for Elizabeth Jones, who became the other finalist in that tournament.
It is evident that Utah women’s golfers in their 50s are having a tough enough time keeping up with Gaiotti and it might be a while before those in their mid 60s can compete with her, as she continues to age gracefully.