J.J. Killeen, a Fort Worth resident and former TCU golfer, has been selected by peers as the 2011 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year.
The announcement was made today by the PGA Tour, where Killeen will compete as a rookie in 2012.
Killeen, 30, led the Nationwide Tour in earnings ($414,273) and won back-to-back titles at the Utah Championship and the Cox Classic. The San Diego native made the cut in 21 of 25 starts last season, with six finishes of fifth or better. He ranked among the Nationwide Tour’s top 10 players in 17 of 28 statistical categories and finished first in putting average (1.703), putts per round (28.24), birdie or better conversion (36.19 pct.) and total birdies (398).
Killeen said he was “elated” by the honor and looks forward to taking his talents to the PGA Tour, where former Nationwide peer Keegan Bradley _ the 2011 PGA Tour rookie of the year _ won both the PGA Championship and the HP Byron Nelson Championship in 2011.
“This has been an incredible year for me,” Killeen said. “I’m anxious to get out on the PGA Tour. Seeing what guys like Keegan Bradley ... have done gives me a great deal of confidence I will follow in their footsteps.”
In a statement, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Killeen’s breakthtrough 2011 season on the Nationwide Tour leaves him “well-positioned to succeed” as a PGA Tour rookie in 2012.
_ Jimmy Burch