TUCSON, ARIZ., (July 28, 2010) — The Pacific Coast Golf Association has created a new permanent Pacific Coast Amateur Championship trophy named for legendary amateur golfer Dr. Ed Updegraff. The 87-year-old retired Tucson urologist was on hand when the trophy was unveiled last night at the players’ dinner in advance of the 43rd playing of the event at The Gallery Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz.
Updegraff, a long-time volunteer at the state and nation al level who was the recipient of the USGA’s Bob Jones Award in 1999 for meritorious service to golf; played on three United States Walker Cup teams (1963, 1965, 1969) and the 1963 U.S. America’s Cup team. He also captained an America’s Cup team in 1965 and a Walker Cup team 10 years later. He won the 1981 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, was runner-up the next year, and played six times in The Masters.
When the Pacific Coast Golf Association decided to revive the Pacific Coast Amateur in 1967 after more than a half-century hiatus, Updegraff captured the inaugural playing at Seattle Golf Club, thus providing the tournament with instant cache. “As we near the 50th anniversary of this great championship,” said PCGA President Drew Woods, “there’s no one who is a more fitting choice than ‘Dr. Ed’ to have his name on this new trophy.”
Ed Updegraff and Drew WoodsThe idea of a new trophy has been discussed for several years. “Our old trophy was adequate,” says John Bodenhammer, PCGA executive director, “and many great champions have been pleased to have their names on it. However, we never felt it had the distinction it deserved. When we decided to hold this year’s championship in Tucson, Dr. Ed’s hometown, we thought this would be great synergy of a perfect person and place.” The new trophy is a sterling silver cup cast in 1922 and mounted on a base containing all previous champions’ names.
At the players’ dinner, Updegraff recalled the Pacific Coast Amateur’s revival in 1967. “We hadn’t had strong West Coast representation on Walker Cup teams up to then,” he noted. “There were some at the USGA who thought anywhere west of the Mississippi you might have problems with Apaches. So the Pacific Coast Amateur was very important for our golfers.” Since 1967, 39 Pacific Coast Amateur contestants have been selected to a total of 45 U.S. Walker Cup teams.
In his illustrious career, Updegraff won dozens of nationally prominent tournaments, four Arizona State Amateur titles and the club championship at Tucson Country Club 27 times. He’s also shot or bettered his age more than 2,300 times. When a reporter asked if he still shot his age, he replied, “only if I’m playing badly” — and that was nearly 20 years ago.
A list of some of Updegraff’s other golf accomplishments follows:
Western Amateur Champion — 1957, 1959
Western Amateur Medalist and Runner-up — 1964
Western Amateur Quarterfinalist — 1960, 1965
Sunnehanna Amateur Champion — 1962
Sunnehanna Runner-up — 1968
Southwestern Amateur Champion — 3 times
USGA Amateur Championship — qualified 17 times (7th in 1969)
British Amateur Semi-finalist — 1963
Trans-Mississippi Finalist — 1976
Trans-Mississippi Semifinalist — 1968
North-South Amateur Semifinalist — 2 times
USGA Senior Amateu r Medalist — 1985
US Senior Golf Assoc. Champion — 1979
US Senior Golf Assoc. Co-Champion — 1988
Tucson Open — Tied 4th in 1969
TCC course record holder — 61
CC of Detroit course record holder — 64
Watch the video below that details Dr. Ed Updegraff’s renowned history and achievements.