131. Bob Lewis Jr Has Died Aged 76

28th March 2021

Bob Lewis Jr., who represented USA in the 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1987 Walker Cup matches before captaining the team in 2003 and 2005, died on 23rd March aged 76.

Lewis was born in Warren, Ohio in 1944, and was introduced to the game by his mother, a keen low handicap player.

He went to Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and played on their golf team between 1963-67.

In 1970 Lewis turned professional and made 26 cuts from the 47 events he played on the PGA Tour between 1971-74. Realising his putting simply wasn’t good enough to compete at the highest level he returned home to work in the family’s still tube manufacturing business.

After a three-year process of reinstatement he returned to the amateur game in 1978. He was well into his 30’s by the time he came to national prominence.

He played in a total of 31 USGA Championships during his career without sadly ever winning one. He recorded three runner-up finishes. He lost 9&8 to Hal Sutton in the 1980 U.S. Amateur Championship at The Country Club of North Carolina, by 2 Holes to Jim Holtgrieve in the inaugural U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in 1981 at Bellerive C.C. near St. Louis and finally 5&4 to Michael Podolak in the 1984 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia. 

USA won all four of the Walker Cups that Lewis played in with the man himself contributing 10 wins in his 14 games at Cypress Point Club, Royal Liverpool G.C., Pine Valley G.C. and Sunningdale G.C. As Captain he had a won 1 – lost 1 record, losing 12.5-11.5 at Ganton G.C. in his first match before winning two years later at Chicago G.C. by the same scoreline.

Lewis also represented USA in two World Amateur Team Championships. Alongside Jim Holtgrieve, Nathaniel Crosby and Jay Sigel USA won in 1982 at Lausanne G.C. with his team finishing second in 1986 at Lagunita C.C. in Venezuela.

Bob Lewis Playing In The Masters (Photo: Augusta National G.C.)

He earned seven invitations to the Masters Tournament, where he finished as low amateur in 1987, and qualified for three U.S. Opens in 1978, 1983 and 1986. 

In his later years he volunteered as the head golf coach at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio.

Lewis was inducted into the Ohio Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2002 and into the Northern Ohio Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2003. He was the recipient of the Bob Jones Award, the USGA’s highest honour, in February 2021.

After losing his long battle with lung cancer Lewis leaves a wife, Patricia, and two children, Tiffany and Tristan.

Bob Lewis managed to combine being a fierce competitor with a friendly demeanour and a high level of sportsmanship. He leaves a legacy as one of the most well liked and respected people in the history of amateur golf and the Walker Cup.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2021, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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85. Dr. Frank Deighton Has Died Aged 90

5th March 2018

Dr. Frank W.G. Deighton died on 23rd February 2018 at the Clarence Court Care Home in Glasgow.

Having reached the age of 90 he had been one of the oldest living former Walker Cup players.

He was first selected for the match at Birkdale GC in 1951 when he was 23. However, Raymond Oppenheimer, GB&I’s first true non-playing captain, chose not to play him as the team lost 6-3. In Oppenheimer’s defense all Deighton had done nationally by this time was make his debut for Scotland in 1950 in the Home internationals at Royal St. David’s GC. He went on to represent Scotland throughout the 1950’s.

Dr. Frank Deighton (Photo: 1951 Walker Cup Programme)

1956 proved to be his best playing year and the prelude to his second and final Walker Cup selection, this time in 1957 at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis.

In 1956 Dr. Deighton had won the Scottish Amateur Championship at Old Troon beating A. MacGregor 8&7 in the final. He also reached the quarter finals of the Amateur Championship where he lost 6&5 over 36 holes to the eventual winner John Beharrell.

In previewing the 1957 match for Sports Illustrated Bernard Darwin described Deighton as “formerly a moody player who did not seem to have sufficient belief in himself” but went on to say “at his best he can be very good.” Interestingly Darwin put Deighton’s upturn in fortunes down to a pep talk from Oppenheimer and a 6&5 singles win against Max Faulkner in the Amateurs v. Professionals match the previous summer.

Deighton played in both series in 1957, losing both his games. Paired with Joe Carr they lost their foursomes match 2&1 against Rex Baxter and Billy Joe Patton. The following day he lost his singles match to Bill Hyndman 7&6. GB&I lost the match 8-3.

His last major win came in 1959 when he won his second Scottish Amateur title. He beat R.M.K. Murray at St. Andrews 6&5.

In total he played in 10 Amateur Championships between 1950-63 and won 20 of his 30 matches during this period.

In 1965 a medical contact arranged for him to design Sconsor GC’s new 9 hole course. The club was renamed the Isle of Skye GC in 1987. In 1988 a new clubhouse was built and Dr. Deighton, as a sign of further gratitude, was invited back to the Isle to open it.

Deighton was born in Glasgow on 21st May 1927 and spent most of his life in the City. He trained with the Royal Army Medical Corps before becoming a General Practitioner. He married Marna and they had two daughters, Nicky and Ruth.

His home club was Hilton Park, where he became an honorary member. He also enjoyed memberships at Glasgow GC and Western Gailes GC. He was a long time member of The Royal & Ancient GC of St. Andrews and after amassing 60 years in 2013 was afforded the rare status of Life Member.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2018 Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Sources:
1. Colin Farquharson, Scottish Golf View (26/02/18) – reproduced The Herald death notice and provided family information.
2. Colin Callander, Global Golf Post (05/03/18) – R&A membership information.

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36. Geoff Marks OBE Has Died Aged 78

14th December 2016

I was saddened to read about the passing of Geoffrey Conway Marks yesterday. Born on 2nd November 1938 he had just turned 78.

A member of Trentham Golf Club in Staffordshire for more than 60 years Geoff played in two Walker Cups and captained the Team on a further two occasions.

Geoff Marks

He played for Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) at Milwaukee CC in 1969 (lost 10-8) and at the Old Course, St. Andrews in 1971 (won 13-11).

Paired with Rodney Foster he lost his opening foursomes game 2&1 in 1969 before winning both his singles, beating Lanny Wadkins (1 hole) and Dr. Edgar Updegraff (3&2).

In 1971 he lost all three of his games at St Andrews. He lost singles to Allen Miller III (1 hole) and Tom Kite (3&2). Having not played foursomes on Day 1 he lost by 1 hole the following day when paired with Charles Green.

After captaining England between 1980-83 Geoff took on the GB&I Walker Cup role; firstly at Sunningdale GC in 1987 and then at Peachtree GC two years later. His first game was far from successful – GB&I losing 7.5-16.5 at home. However the second would go down in history. The 12.5-11.5 victory in Atlanta was the first time GB&I had won a Walker Cup match on American soil. At the end of the 1989 season Geoff Marks and his Walker Cup team were awarded the Association of Golf Writers Trophy in recognition of their achievement.

Marks also represented GB&I in the St Andrews Trophy match against the Continent of Europe in 1968 and 1970 before captaining the team in 1988 and 1990.

In a distinguished amateur playing career he represented England 65 times between 1963-1975 with the team winning 45 of those matches.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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