Brooks Koepka put in a masterful performance to hold off a final round 63 from Tommy Fleetwood to successfully defend his US Open title at Shinnecock Hills.
Alison Nicholas Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
She’s a six-time Solheim Cup player, two-time Solheim Cup Captain, major champion and PGA Professional, and now Alison Nicholas MBE, has been rightfully honoured by the PGA’s of Europe with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions and achievements to the game of golf.
The award, which is not given out lightly, signifies outstanding performances, leadership and representation of the game that the winning Solheim Cup Captain has shown across her wonderful career and the magnificent contributions she has made to the women’s game.
Nicholas was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award during the PGA’s of Europe Annual Congress Gala Awards Dinner at Hotel Vila Galé Lagos on Portugal’s Algarve, where she received a standing ovation from that in attendance and from the Annual Congress delegates and International Team Championship Competitors.
Nicholas follows in the footsteps of previous winners Steve Ballesteros, who was awarded the honour posthumously in 2011, and Tony Jacklin, who received the award on the same stage in Portugal in 2012.
“I’m overwhelmed to be honest, I certainly didn’t expect it, but I’m honoured and humbled to received it,” said Nicholas. “It blows me away to think my name is amongst those previous recipients.
“Seve Ballesteros was my hero, when you saw him play, his tenacity and sheer charisma was something that we all looked up to and aspired to, so to receive an award he’s also received is incredible.
“Jacklin obviously pioneered the modern Ryder Cup era and taught Europe to win and believe in themselves – I took all those things on board when I took on the Solheim Cup captaincy and wanted to aspire to do the same as him. Both these winners were an inspiration to me so to receive the award after them is unreal, I can’t get my head around it to be honest.”
Ian Randell, Chief Executive of the PGA’s of Europe, was there to present Nicholas with her award alongside PGA’s of Europe Chairman Sandy Jones, following a message of congratulations from fellow player and friend Laura Davies.
Nicholas added: “What I’ve done in the game and my contribution to the Solheim Cup has only come because I’ve had the support and help from other people. I hand this award to my family and my friends and to professionals that have helped me achieve all I’ve done.
“The last 20 minutes were just so tight – it looked like the Americans were going to win it and then suddenly the last three matches turned around. It was just amazing. I’ve talked about it with many people and lots have said it was the most exciting Solheim Cup they’ve ever seen. The most important thing for me was to keep calm, keep that belief…it was a sensational victory and the players were incredible.”
Since her retirement from the sport, Nicholas has been working as a PGA Professional coach on the outskirts of Birmingham, UK, looking to develop future up-and-coming stars of the game and passing on her vast knowledge and lessons she has learned from a career that is nothing short of outstanding.
At the forefront of the women’s game, Alison Nicholas stands head and shoulders above many, a beacon of hope which says that anything can be achieved by working hard in the women’s game in Europe.