Zamora Named National Player Of The Year

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GOLF

Georgia’s Marta Silva Zamora was named the PING National Player of the Year by the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) on Saturday night, just hours after she wrapped up her season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

“It’s a great honor, of course,” Silva Zamora said. “I told (head coach) Kelley (Hester) that I really don’t think I’ll realize what I’ve just won until tomorrow or two days from now. I’m proud because this award shows how I did for the entire year. I had a really, really good year. It was great.”

Silva Zamora also was named first-team All-America by the NGCA and won the Golfstat Cup as the nation’s leading golfer statistically.

At the NCAAs, Silva Zamora notched her sixth top-five finish in 10 tournaments completed during the 2010-11 campaign. She also recorded three more top-10 efforts and tied four 14th (a stroke shy of another top-10) in the other event.

“Marta was amazingly consistent with a great stroke average,” Hester said. “She had the best stroke average in the country. Like Marta said, it shows how consistent she was. She didn’t have the wins that some of the other players had, but she literally didn’t have a bad tournament all year. And then when it mattered most, she had a very solid tournament at the national championships and tied for fourth.” Silva Zamora shattered the Georgia season stroke average, finishing at 71.51. That bettered current LPGA Tour member Taylor Leon’s mark of 72.63 established in 2006-07. Silva Zamora now owns first-, third- and 10th-best season averages in Dawg annals.

All told, Silva Zamora recorded 22 par-or-better tallies in 33 rounds played this season. Cumulatively, she finished the year at 15-under, even including a 9-over, 36-hole performance at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge where she played with a stomach ailment before withdrawing prior to the final round.

Silva Zamora collected her third and Georgia’s 44th All-America certificate from the NGCA. She was an honorable mention selection as a freshman and earned first-team status as a sophomore.

In nine post-season SEC, NCAA Regional and NCAA Championship competitions during her career, Silva Zamora now has six top-10 finishes.

Silva Zamora will return to Spain on Sunday and on Thursday will begin defense of her Spanish Amateur title.