TAMPA, FLORIDA | Let’s hear it for lifelong amateurs.
Something weird and wonderful occurred after Tiger Woods defeated Trip Kuehne, 2 up, in the final of the 1994 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Kuehne didn’t talk about turning pro. He was not going to entertain any ideas about becoming a touring professional. Period. In an era when almost all of golf’s top amateurs have interviewed agents and managers and openly inquired “What can you do for me?” Kuehne was content to focus on a career in business, finance and investment.
Fred Ridley won the 1975 U.S. Amateur, outlasting Keith Fergus, 2 up, in the final. Ridley also remained an amateur. An attorney, he has specialized in the administrative side of golf, becoming president of the USGA and chairman of Augusta National Golf Club.
The notion of remaining an amateur was discussed frequently by Bobby Jones, whose 1930 Grand Slam included two major amateur titles (British Amateur and U.S. Amateur) and two open crowns (U.S. Open and Open Championship).
Many, if not most, of today’s amateurs want to be recognized as golf heroes, and they want it fast. Turning pro is the first step.
The Amateur Golf Alliance is a non-profit organization with the clout to alter many of the traditional perceptions of amateur golf.
However, the practical, real-life definition of the word amateur may be changing. Here at the Gasparilla Invitational, being played at Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club, Rob Addington is unveiling his rusty golf ...
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