AVERILL PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany native Justin Hearley has emerged as one of the premier golfers in the Capital Region.

After seven tournament wins in the Northeast New York Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association – three of which were victories in majors – Hearley’s remarkable year culminated in his first-ever Player of the Year honor, dethroning Scott Berliner, who held that title for 11 straight years.

The Christian Brothers Academy product’s accomplishments are a result of a relentless drive since he became a PGA professional in 2015.

“It epitomizes my hard work,” said Hearley. “And…it’s been a blessing this year, and I’m looking forward to the future, and hopefully continuing on, and maybe winning Player of the Year more than once.”

As the head golf professional at Burden Lake Country Club in Averill Park, N.Y., Hearley’s recent success has made him a bit of a celebrity in the clubhouse.

The support he’s garnered from members has been overwhelming.

“It’s non-stop; everybody comes in, shakes my hand,” said Hearley. “To have the support of the club, and the membership here…I’m super thankful.”

Hearley defines what it means to practice what you preach. This may be just his first year as the club pro at Burden Lake, but his achievements prove he’s the right man for the job.

“The big thing to me is….being able to have somebody here that young players look up to; even adults look up to,” said Tom Choquette, the owner and general manager of Burden Lake. “Golf is a funny sport. Some people have it; some people don’t. Justin seems to understand the game, which is the hardest part of it. Physically he can do everything, but mentally, he’s 110%.”

Next April, Hearley will compete in the 2023 PGA Professional Championship in New Mexico. If he can finish in the top-20, he’ll quality for the 2023 PGA Tour Championship at Oak Hill East Course in Rochester, N.Y.

It comes as no surprise Hearley’s already game planning how to take his game to the next level.

“Tidy it up, clean up the ball-striking, and get ready for the spring time,” said Hearley. “And hopefully winter translates to the spring, and we take on New Mexico at the end of April, and hopefully get some good results there.”