William C. Campbell Dies

Updated 4 years ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
William C. Campbell
William C. Campbell
MU File Photo

Amateur golf master William C. Campbell, a native of Huntington, passed away August 30, 2013 in Lewisburg, WV, according to a news release.

Born and raised in Huntington, Bill Campbell has become one of the most distinguished amateurs in golf history. After graduating from Princeton University, Campbell had little desire to play professionally. Instead, he returned to West Virginia, started an insurance company and served in the State Legislature (1948-1951).

On the course, Campbell compiled an astonishing resume. Nationally, he played in 37 US Amateur Championships, including 33 consecutively, a USGA record. In 1964, he finally won the US Amateur title at the age of 41-- a true testament to his persistence. Additional titles on his resume inclue two US Senior Amateur Championships, one Mexican Amateur, one Ontario Amateur, four North-South Amateur, two Tom O'Shanter World Amateurs and an unmatched 7-0-1 record in singles competition at eight Walker Cup Matches.

Campbell qualified for 19 Masters and played in 18 of them during a span of 26 years-- more than any amateur in the history of golf. Campbell also competed in 15 US Open Championships. In 1956, he received the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.

In his home state, Campbell has won a record 15 West Virginia Amateur Championships and three West Virginia Open titles. Campbell's playing career was perhaps best characterized in an issue of Golf Journal, where the magazine claimed Campbell was a "professional at being an amateur."

He has been a constant figurehead for golf in the state of West Virginia and is a constant reminder of what a true amateur represents-- playing the game because you love to play golf.

Campbell has made an even more profound impact in golf off the course. Campbell is the only person to head noth major bodies of golf: the United States Golf Association (USGA), 1982-1983, and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R&A), 1987. During his tenure as President and Captain of the two respective Associations, his message was clear: Golf is a game of manners, relationships, dignity and self-respect.

"It is an honorable game, an honorable institution, if you will, so that people shouldn't need policemen to keep them straight. That goes with being a golfer."
-William C. Campbell



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