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Senior Women’s Player of the Year – Annette Gaiotti
Annette Gaiotti knows her reign as the Senior Women’s Player of the Year eventually will end, although nothing suggests that will happen any time soon.
Certainly, no one who watched her play in 2022 is predicting that any such change will result from the demise of her game, even as she turns 70 in April.
Her age-defying ability surfaced in multiple ways this season, as Gaiotti won the Senior Women’s State Amateur for the first time in three years, competed favorably against college golfers in other Utah Golf Association events and dominated the senior women’s Player Performance Ranking. The Player of the Year award is the Park City resident’s fourth in a row and seventh since the category was created in 2012 (Sue Nyhus, now a professional, is the only other winner).
Gaiotti finished with 212.5 points to 125 for Karen Seaman and 120 for Roberta Scott. She won the Senior Women’s State Am, tied for first place in the Moab Icebreaker, tied for ninth in the women’s division of the Winterchamps, placed ninth in the Mary Lou Baker Open and was the low senior in the Women’s Stroke Play Championship.
Gaiotti needed all the steadiness, toughness and resourcefulness that define her game to outlast 58-year-old Melanie Christensen in the final match of the Senior Women’s State Am at Bonneville Golf Course in August. The victory, her seventh in 20 years of eligibility, completed a week when she matched her age with a 69 in the first round of stroke-play qualifying. The achievement left her one win short of Bev Nelson’s record of eight victories in a single UGA event and was satisfying because of the demands of “keeping it together” for 72 holes, she said.
“I’m pleased to have been able to compete as long as I have been,” Gaiotti said. “I’m looking forward to next year.”
And well beyond then, by all appearances.
Read more from Fairways Media senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe in the November issue of Fairways magazine.