Matt Greenleaf of Portland has been one of the state’s top golfers for the last few years. Now Greenleaf has a Maine State Golf Association Player of the Year award to validate his status.

The award is officially known as the Dr. Leonardo Buck Player of the Year. Buck was a rules expert who won the Maine Amateur in 1950.

Player of the Year points are awarded for performance at all MSGA events, from the weekly amateurs to championship events such as the Maine Amateur. Points are accumulated from Aug. 1 through July 31.

“It’s the highest honor I’ve received in the game of golf,” said Greenleaf. “I’m ecstatic. I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls and text messages congratulating me. It’s starting to sink in.”

By winning the Match Play Championship this past week, Ricky Jones already has a head start on the rest of the state’s top players for the 2015 award.

Greenleaf edged Andrew Slattery, the Maine Amateur champion, by 27 points. Jones finished third.

Those three will represent Maine in the United States Golf Association’s State Team Championship, to be held Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 at the Pete Dye course in French Lick, Indiana.

Greenleaf won last year’s Match Play Championship and finished fourth in the Maine Amateur. He also won four weekly amateur tournaments (Natanis, Webhannet, Fairlawn and Old Marsh) and shared low amateur honors at the State of Maine Championship at Sugarloaf in July.

MSGA championship events carry more points than weekly events, but they all added up in Greenleaf’s tally.

“I treat those weekend events just the same as the Maine Amateur when I’m up on the first tee,” said Greenleaf. “They all mean something, as you can tell by how close it was in the end between Andrew and me.”

Every August, Greenleaf starts thinking about accumulating points so he can make the state’s team at the USGA championship.

Although non-MSGA tournaments don’t bring any Player of the Year points, Greenleaf has been successful in outside tournaments as well. He will look to defend his St. John Valley Amateur title later this month at Aroostook Valley Country Club in Fort Fairfield. Last summer he won the Sable Oaks club championship.

Greenleaf credits his wife, Jenna, for allowing him to play enough competitive golf to stay tournament sharp. Greenleaf is not the type of golfer who plays late into the season. He’s an avid hunter.

“I’m pretty much done golfing in early October,” he said.

Tee to Green: The MSGA has replaced its Two-Man Championship with a Four-Ball Championship. It will be held at Brunswick Golf Club on Aug. 26-27. Players can sign up online at the MSGA’s tournament championship page.

Shawn Warren of Falmouth Country Club won the Maine Assistant Pro Championship with a 67 last week at Spring Meadows Golf Club in Gray. Matt Loubier of Waterville and Jerry DiPhilippo of Portland Country Club tied for second with 72s.