A outspoken leader for diversity in the game of golf.
A beloved golf journalist.
A true son of Argentina.
A college golf coach who also won more than a thousand games in softball.
Six golfers and the coach of a small New Mexico college.
The world of golf indeed lost some true legends in 2022. Here’s a closer look at those we said goodbye to this year.
Bob Shearer of Australia at the 2007 Jersey Seniors Classic at La Moye Golf Club in St.Brelade, Jersey. (Photo: Phil Inglis/Getty Images)
Bob Shearer, who twice won the Australian PGA, died on Jan. 9, 2022, after suffering a heart attack, according to the PGA of Australia. “Bob was a giant of the game here in Australia in the ‘70s and ‘80s and I am just absolutely devastated that I have lost another of my great mates,” said PGA Chair Rodger Davis. “Bob and I travelled a lot together playing in Europe and as tough as he was to beat on the golf course you couldn’t find a better bloke to have a beer with after the round,” Davis said.
Tim Rosaforte at the Paramount Theater prior to the World Golf Championships – Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 21, 2016 in Texas. (Photo by Chris Condon/PGA Tour)
Tim Rosaforte, who rose from a newspaper reporter to become one of the top American golf journalists, died Jan. 11, 2022, of Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 66. He was only the second person in his family to go to college, and he used that determination to become a sports writer and eventually one of the most popular announcers on Golf Channel and NBC Sports as golf’s first true insider.
Eduardo Romero competes in the 2009 Open de France. (Photo: Mitchell Gunn-USA TODAY Sports)
From a Golfweek story published in 2002:
Raised in a farming town outside the industrial city of Cordoba, where his father toiled as an autoworker in the mornings and a club golf professional in the afternoons, Eduardo Romero is a true son of Argentina. Romero enjoys working the land on his steeds, which descend from stock the Spanish Conquistadors brought to the New World in the 16th century, and also likes to hunt red stag in Patagonia and a type of partridge, called perdiz, on the pampas. As is the case with many of his fellow countrymen, he fancies the bold Malbec wines of the mountainous Mendoza region and believes that Argentinean barbecues, or “asados,” are the perfect way to spend time with friends and family, celebrate the nation’s famous gaucho culture and savor its renowned, grass-fed beef.
Kyi Hla Han
Madasamy Murugiah with Kyi Hla Han (center) and other Handa Singapore Classic partners, Pan Pacific’s Frederic Jenni, SGA’s Andrew Kwa and OCC’s Dominic Ang.
Former Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han (chee la haan), a beloved figure in Asian golf who tried to mold the Asian Tour in the likeness of the PGA Tour, died on Feb. 19. He was 61.
University of the Southwest
Golf balls adorn a makeshift memorial at the Rockwind Community Links, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Hobbs, New Mexico. The memorial was for student golfers and the coach of University of the Southwest killed in a crash in Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Six players and the coach of the University of the Southwest’s golf teams were killed in a head-on crash in Texas in March, an incident that rocked all of college golf.
Florida Atlantic University softball coach Joan Joyce, who also coached golf at the school. (Photo: Bob Shanley/The Palm Beach)
Florida Atlantic’s longtime softball and golf coach Joan Joyce has died. Joyce, who was 81, had just celebrated her 1,000th win as a head coach with the Owls. She also coached the FAU’s women’s golf team from 1996 to 2014. She was a member of the LPGA for 19 years, from 1977 to 1995. Joyce is in the Guinness Book of World Records, listed as the all-time record holder in golf for “fewest putts in a round (17) for the LPGA and PGA.”
James Achenbach – a wily, funny and infuriatingly clever golf writer who worked full-time for Golfweek for 24 years – passed away Friday, April 15, 2022. Achenbach’s initial forays into the pages of Golfweek began in the 1970s and grew into a full-time gig in 1991 after various stints at newspapers around the country, and he became a popular senior voice in golf writing. In a career that started with persimmon-headed drivers and concluded after the introduction of hot-faced titanium rocket launchers, Achenbach put an emphasis on the people of golf.
Former PGA of America President Pat Rielly, who was in office during the Shoal Creek incident, died on Wednesday. He was 87. Rielly was thrust into the center of controversy in 1990 during his presidency when Shoal Creek founder Hall Thompson touched off a national debate in 1990 with his remarks about the private club in Alabama’s no-Blacks-allowed membership practices. In the face of TV sponsor boycotts and threatened picketing by civil rights groups, Rielly arranged contingency plans to move the Championship elsewhere.
Former Golfweek CEO and President Fran Farrell, who guided the magazine and website through an important time in its growth, died May 10. He was 63. The cause of death was COVID-19, his family confirmed.
Bart Bryant, a three-time PGA Tour winner who bested Tiger Woods down the stretch to win two of them, was killed in a car accident on May 31, 2022, in Florida. Bryant grew up in Gatesville, Texas, just outside of Waco. A two-time All-American at New Mexico State, Bryant’s pro career was derailed early by injury, but he continued to grind and eventually — in his 187th start, after 18 years and six trips to Q-school — won in his home state of Texas.
Bart Bryant tees off on the 9th hole during the final round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
Chairman of the Kohler Company Herb Kohler poses with the Ryder Cup Trophy at Miller Park on August 22, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
“His zest for life, adventure and impact inspires all of us,” his family said in the statement Sunday. “We traveled together, celebrated together, and worked together. He was all in, all the time, leaving an indelible mark on how we live our lives today and carry on his legacy.”
David Jones, Centre College Men’s Golf. (Photo: Centre Athletics)
The men’s golf team at Centre College is mourning the loss of its coach just days into the new season. The Division III school located in Danville, Kentucky, announced that 36-year-old head coach David Jones passed away Tuesday evening, just two days after the Colonels finished fourth at the Transylvania Fall Invitational to start the 2022-23 season.
Richard Sykes, who coached the North Carolina State men’s golf program for 46 years, died. He was 78. Sykes took over the Wolfpack program in 1971 and on to it till 2017. Along the way, he led NC State to 24 NCAA Regional appearances and 12 NCAA championship appearances.
Ed Repulski was the high school golf coach at Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida, for 40 years and won more than 600 matches. (Photo: Chip Litherland/Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
Under Repulski, the Sarasota, Florida, Riverview High school boys golf team won two state titles, had two runners-up and claimed 12 district crowns. He got his daughter Jill Strafaci started in the sport and it paid off with a golf scholarship to Florida, where she was a four-year letter-winner. Her son, Tyler, is a pro golfer.
Bryson DeChambeau’s father, Jon, watches the action during the finals of the 2015 U.S. Amateur at Olympia Fields Country Club.
In a heartfelt social-media post, Bryson DeChambeau said goodbye to his father, who died Nov. 4, 2022.
“I’m sad to see you go but you’ve been through way too much pain in this life. I’m so happy you are at peace. Now you get to be with me and watch me at every event I play.”
Dow Finsterwald, shown after winning the ’58 PGA, was assessed a ‘retroactive’ two-stroke penalty at the 1960 Masters, setting possible precedent for Tiger Woods’ penalty over a drop in the 2013 Masters. (Photo: Associated Press)
Dow Finsterwald won 11 tournaments during an eight-year span, including the 1958 PGA Championship, and was named PGA Player of the Year that same year. In his day, cashing in on a major championship meant landing a plum head professional job so in 1963, he left the Tour to became director of golf at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a position he held for 28 years.
Dick Copas, who was the head coach for the University of Georgia men’s golf team for 25 seasons, died died Nov. 17, 2023. He was 88.
Copas steered the Bulldogs to seven SEC tiles, 17 NCAA championship appearances and finished in the top-10 on 10 different occasions.
In 1978, Georgia finished second at the NCAAs.
Copas originally landed at Georgia in 1964 when he was named the head trainer for the Bulldogs’ football team under first-year head coach Vince Dooley.
Golf industry veteran Leon Gilmore, who served in various roles for First Tee, the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and PGA Tour Champions, died Dec. 1 at age 52.
Considered the greatest amateur golfer in Arizona, Dr. Ed Updegraff passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Saddlebrooke, Arizona, north of Tucson.
Updegraff, originally from Iowa, moved to Tucson in 1951. He would go on to collect 27 consecutive club championships at Tucson Country Club and five Arizona Amateur titles. He played in six Masters Tournaments and was the captain of the 1975 Walker Cup team. In 1999 Updegraff was awarded the Bob Jones Award, considered the U.S. Golf Association’s highest honor.
Since 1990, the Arizona Golf Association has bestowed its highest honor, the Updegraff Award, upon those who, “by their actions, exemplify the Spirit of the Game.”
Kathy Whitworth ponders her situation from a bunker on the fifth hole of the second round of the 1981 U.S. Womens Open in La Grange Illinois.
Kathy Whitworth, the winningest player in professional golf history, died suddenly on Christmas Eve with family and friends. She was 83.
“Kathy left this world the way she lived her life, loving, laughing and creating memories,” said Bettye Odle, long-time partner of Whitworth, in an LPGA release.