BOSTON, Mass. – It was a year when Tiger Woods’ comeback shared headlines with new faces, familiar places, forgotten champions and, as always, a few looks back into the game’s past.
The winning stories in the 2018 GWAA Writing Contest reflected the diversity and changes in the game and the way we cover it as the GWAA honored, among others, stories on Tiger, Masters champion Patrick Reed, David Feherty and the murder of a young Iowa State golfer.
Golf Magazine’s Alan Shipnuck and former Augusta Chronicle columnist Scott Michaux each picked up the 10th first places of their careers — Shipnuck in Non-Daily Columns for a piece on how today’s game has gone soft; Michaux in Special Projects for his look at Masters champion Sergio Garcia — while Golf and Golf Digest picked up two wins each. Shipnuck and Michaux join Dan Jenkins and Jaime Diaz as the organization’s only 10-time winners.
Golf.com’s Dylan Dethier was a first-time winner with his News Story on the murder of Iowa State’s Celia Barquin Arozamena, while Digest’s Dave Kindred picked up his fifth career win in Game Stories. Golf Digest swept the Non-Daily Features category with John Feinstein picking up his second career win, this one, with an in-depth look at Feherty’s complex life.
Ian O’Connor of ESPN.com became a seven-time winner with his Daily Columns win with a column on Patrick Reed’s family watching him win from three miles away, while Global Golf Post’s Steve Eubanks picked up his first win with a Daily Feature on former U.S. Open champion J.J. McDermott, who lived his adult life with mental illness.
All winners will be honored April 10 at the ISPS HANDA GWAA 47th Annual Awards Dinner presented by the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and USGA. The event is held at Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Augusta, Ga.
The full list of winners follows at look at the winning stories, which includes a judges’ comment and link to the story:
Dethier’s story on Celia Barquin Arozamena – “This is great storytelling. The writer skillfully employs the knowledge of sports with police reporting and human interest to tell a complete, compelling story.”
Kindred’s piece on Tiger at the PGA: “To write simply that Tiger Woods was climbing leader boards again would be missing the point. It is what went into that. The writer captured the magnitude of Woods’ achievement and what a great player’s return meant to the sport.”
Eubanks’ feature on McDermott: “I love history lessons. This story told me something I didn’t know in a very compelling, emotional, well-written way.”
Shipnuck’s column: “A well-wrought opinion, probably shared by many, about the ‘wussification’ of the game, deftly handled with both light-hearted humor and hard-edged commentary.”
Feinstein on Feherty: “The story-telling on the Feherty piece hooked me from beginning to end. It didn’t just tackle emotionally difficult and painful subjects (suicide, mental illness) but did so with dignity while being honest.”
Michaux on Garcia: “Well written, and with much new information. This story earns a green jacket.”