Men's Golf: Blann, Kania Receive Player of the Year Honors

Oct. 15, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky senior Jordan Blann and junior James Kania were honored this week by their local golf associations with prestigious honors as Blann won the Kentucky Golf Association 2009 Player of the Year award and Kania won the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s William Hyndman, III Player of the year award.

“Jordan and James both played exceptional golf this summer in their respective states,” said Kentucky men’s golf head coach Brian Craig. “Congratulations to Jordan and James on being named player of the year. I look forward to both of them leading this team throughout the season.”

Blann, who won the Kentucky Amateur Championship this summer, had a very impressive summer on the links. The native of Bowling Green, Ky., won the Kentucky Am by an impressive 7-under-par score in 36 holes. The senior also finished first in the Pickens Amateur and was a local qualifier for the U.S. Open.

“Growing up in Kentucky and watching all the good golfers that have come from this state, to win this award is a great honor,” said Blann, who finished tied for 12th at the Firestone Invitational earlier in the week. “I worked hard this summer and to be able to cap off my hard work with an award like this is a great accomplishment. Now, I have to take what I did this summer onto the course this fall and spring, and help our team to get wins. That is where my focus is now, helping the Wildcats.”

Last year for UK, Blann played in 11 tournaments posting a 74.48 season stroke average. The senior posted the lowest 18 holes of golf of the season for Kentucky with his 7-under-par 64 at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. Blann will be honored with the award at the 2009 Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Lexington Country Club Nov. 19.   

Kania had one of the most impressive summers for the Wildcats. The junior from Haverford, Pa., dominated the Golf Association of Philadelphia tournaments and leaderboard. Along with winning the Joseph H. Patterson Cup, he advanced through four rounds of tough match-play competition to advance to the finals of the Philly Am. Kania, who also won the 2009 Braemar Invitational, ended his summer with history, as he and his father became the first father-son duo to each win the Patterson Cup and the Silver Cross award, which is given to the player with the lowest combined aggregate score from the qualifying rounds of the Philly Am and the Patterson Cup.

“Winning the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Player of the Year is quite an honor,” said Kania to the GAP website. “My whole life I have idolized the stars of the GAP. To be considered as the best in the GAP for 2009 is very surreal.”

Kania played in 29 rounds last year for the Wildcats, posting a season-stroke average of 74.65 including a season-low round of 69 at the Schenkel E-Z Go Invitational. Kania gathered three top-15 finishes on the year including placing sixth at the Jacksonville University Invitational. The former Golf Association of Philadelphia Junior Player of the Year in 2004 has played in every tournament so far for the Wildcats this season.

Senior Ben Fuqua finished second behind Blann on the KGA leaderboard. Blann finished the season with 197.50 points, while Fuqua, a native of Danville, Ky., had 150. UK freshman Cody Martin tied for fourth with 100 points. Seniors Alex Volpenhein and Derek Oldham, along with sophomore Chase Carpenter were on the points list.