Goldstein is the 2018 MGA Jerry Courville Sr. Player of the Year
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (October 31, 2018) – Consistency throughout a long season paid off in a big way for Darin Goldstein in 2018, as the 37-year-old player out of Deepdale has been named the recipient of this year’s MGA Jerry Courville Sr. Player of the Year Award. Goldstein consistently logged high finishes all season long, capturing a pair of wins and adding three more runner-up finishes en route to earning the coveted honor. The award will be presented to Goldstein at the MGA’s 121st Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, December 5 at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y.
The MGA Jerry Courville Sr. Player of the Year Award is presented annually to the Met Area amateur who compiles the best record in select events during the course of the year. It is based on a system in which players earn points for their finishes in designated local, national, and international championships. Goldstein, who finished with 864.33 points for the season, edged reigning honoree James Nicholas of Westchester by 4.33 points—the smallest final margin in the 43-year history of the player of the year award.
“Beyond being just an unbelievable honor, to see your name on a list with some of the greatest amateur golfers in the last 40-plus years is very humbling,” says Goldstein. “It doesn’t seem real in some ways. It’s an achievement that I’ll look back on forever.”
Goldstein—who played tennis at Duke University and didn’t pick up golf until the mid-2000s after graduating—began collecting points in May, advancing to sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, winning the Eagle Oaks Invitational and making his way to the semifinals of the Havemeyer Invitational.
After making the cut in both the Long Island Open and New York State Open, Goldstein finished second in the Boff Invitational and qualified for both the Met Amateur and the U.S. Amateur. While Goldstein missed match play at the U.S. Amateur, he built momentum from the appearance and finished tied for eighth at Wykagyl in the 103rd Met Open Championship Presented by Callaway. The performance earned Goldstein 138.5 points, with a tie for third low amateur helping him tally his largest point total of the season.
Goldstein entered the season with a modest goal of finishing on the Honor Roll—the top-10 of the player of the year points listing—but began to reassess after the Met Open, recognizing that he had a number of events remaining and an opportunity to climb to the top of the list.
A chance to win his second straight MGA Mid-Am fell short in a playoff, but Goldstein quickly rebounded to win the Bergen County Amateur, then advanced to match play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur having tied for 14th over 36 holes of on-site qualifying. What Goldstein calls a “fluke” back injury forced him to concede the Round of 64 match, but immediate therapy and treatment allowed him to close out the season even if he didn’t feel 100-percent.
The busy schedule continued with a trip to Paris for the French-American Challenge and a quick return for the Nassau Invitational, where he advanced to the quarterfinals. Though Nicholas won the event and jumped to the top in the points list, Goldstein added a runner-up finish in the Richardson Memorial to carry a 44-point edge into Fresh Meadow’s season-ending Sarazen Invitational.
Nicholas once again made the most of his attempt to chase down Goldstein with a second-place finish, but Goldstein’s tie for 6th as the two played alongside one another in the final round earned him the top point total for the year.
“Every shot mattered because every stroke mattered relative to your finish,” said Goldstein, reflecting on the season’s tight race. “Every spot—one shot, one putt, one par, or one birdie—made a difference of where the points fell at the end of the year.”
Claiming the top spot capped off a steady rise in the year-end standings for Goldstein, having finished fifth, third, and second in the listings since 2015—more than solidifying his spot among the game’s elite competitors in the Met Area.
In addition to his Nassau Invitational win, Nicholas used a third-place finish in the Met Open, a run to the semifinals in the Met Amateur and a win in the Arcola Cup to finish second (840 points). Westchester Amateur champion Christian Cavaliere of Mahopac finished third (720), while Junior Player of the Year Jack Wall of Manasquan River (623) and Brad Tilley of Sleepy Hollow (580) ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. Thomas LaMorte of Haworth (548), Chris Gotterup of Rumson (505), Jay Card III of Gardiner’s Bay (478), MGA Public Links champion Jonathan Jeter of Nassau Players (433) and Trevor Randolph of Arcola (400) complete the top 10 Honor Roll listing.