Olivia Suggs Flanagan, normally one of the most garrulous people in the room, was almost speechless.
The Butler native didn’t know what to say when she was named winner of the Bill Todd Award at the annual Georgia State Golf Association’s meeting held Saturday.
The award, formerly known as the President’s Service Award, is presented annually to honor a volunteer for meritorious service. It is named in honor of the late Bill Todd, who set a standard for volunteerism for the GSGA.
Flanagan was sitting in the back of the room when her name was called and was stunned.
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“I had no idea I was going to get this award,” Flanagan said. “It is such an honor. I don’t know what to say.”
Flanagan has been a volunteer with the GSGA for almost 20 years. The certified public accountant used her skills to guide the organization through some challenging financial times. Most recently she has served as a rules officials at a variety of GSGA competitions.
“You get to know the rules and you learn to appreciate what they can do for you,” she said.
Flanagan was one of several Middle Georgians who were honored at the annual meeting and awards banquets, hosted by the Cherokee Town and Country Club.
Mercer’s Payton Schanen was the Women’s Player of the Year. The junior from Alpharetta won her second straight Georgia Women’s Amateur Championship and finished in the top five of the Georgia Women’s Open.
Mercer graduate Justin Connelly just missed winning the Men’s Player of the Year Award, finishing 25 points behind Chris Waters of Athens. Connelly won the 2017 Georgia Amateur and was a member of the Men’s Southeastern Challenge Match. He is currently at Georgia College and State University, where he is playing as a graduate senior.
Others who were honored for winning GSGA championships last year were Hannah Mae Deems, a senior at Mercer who won the Women’s Match Play Championship and Stan Gann Jr. of Warner Robins, who won the Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship and the Public Links Championship.
Other players of the year were Brandon Cho of Suwanee and Beck Burnette of Blairsville (juniors), Caroline Craig of Sautee Nachoochee (junior girls), Bob Royak of Alpharetta (senior men), Laura Coble of Augusta (senior women) and Frank Costanzo of Savannah (super seniors).