2015 INDUCTEES TO THE GOLF HALL OF FAME OF BC
The BC Golf House Society would like to announce the 2015 Inductees to the Golf Hall of Fame of BC:
LYLE CRAWFORD, RICK GIBSON, GAIL (ANDERSON) GRAHAM, ALVIE THOMPSON AND JENNIFER WYATT.
When the Hastings Park Golf Course closed the sports editor for Vancouver Daily Province asked Bill Heyworth, the course professional, to comment on his past assistants. For Lyle he responded; “the best prospect of all my assistants. He has all the shots and the nerve.”
Crawford’s strengths were his cockiness and his short iron play. In match play he fought tenaciously with all his weapons to win. He could be down by 4 holes with six to play and still win the match. “He employed an abrupt, staccato swing that mirrored his persona.” In the 1955 Canadian Amateur final at Calgary he paired with his equal Moe Norman in walking, talking and playing rapidly. James Anglin, the RCGA President, asked the pair to slow done so the spectators could catch up to the match. Even though Lyle was down he got the match to extra holes losing on the 39th hole.
Dressed in black shirt, black pants, black hat, and dark glasses he posed as an intimidating opponent on the first tee. He was not afraid to set the tone with a starting dig to his opponent. But Lyle had the game to match his self-confidence. He honed his skills on the Hastings course. “After my News Herald paper route I’d go right to Hastings and practice even in the rain. I was just a kid, but I knew I was better than the other kids because I knew they weren’t practicing. I found that by using my short three quarter swing I could keep the ball in play so I worked on perfecting it.”
After his main playing career ended he continued to play in the Vancouver City Match Play event where he worked his gamesmanship to perfection. The four-time champion frequently commenced the match with a friendly greeting accompanied by; “Good luck. I don’t think we will be playing the back nine today.”
BC Amateur Champion 1954,’55
BC Amateur Medallist 1955
BC Closed Champion 1954
Canadian Amateur finalist 1955
Willingdon Cup Individual Champion 1954,’55
PNGA finalist 1955
BC Open Champion 1959
BC Open 2nd 1956,’60
Manitoba Open 2nd 1958
CPGA Bursary Champion 1957
Willingdon Cup Team 1954,’55
Morse Cup Team 1954,’55
Rick’s family moved to Victoria from Calgary when he was seven years old. He grew up playing golf down the road at Cedar Hill where Lyle Crawford tutored the juniors. In 1979 Vern Gibson relocated the family to Vancouver. Rick joined the Marine Drive GC. In this year a team composed of Doug Roxburgh, Rick Gibson, Kelly Murray and Steve berry, all Marine Drive members, won the prestigious Willingdon Cup at the Canadian Amateur Championship – the only time a golf club team has won the trophy.
After an impressive amateur while residing in Victoria and Vancouver, Rick began his world professional career by winning the Canadian Tour School qualifying event in 1985. Each year his noteworthy world record has elevated him to the stature of one of the best professionals ever from Canada.
1990 probably ranks as one of the most memorable years in his golfing career. He married his Manila sweetheart, Josephine, had a beautiful daughter, Katherine and fulfilled one of his dreams, to represent Canada in the World Cup. With only one event left on the Canadian Tour, the CPGA Championship at the Quilchena G&CC, he knew he needed a win to secure the spot on the World Cup team. Playing before a loyal, supportive crowd he won. He held off challenges from PGA regulars Richard Zokol and Georgia’s Louis Brown to win by one shot with a total 16 under par. Commenting after the event Rick felt he played his best golf ever for four straight rounds.
In 1994 Rick joined Dave Barr and Ray Stewart to represent Canada at the Dunhill Cup matches in St Andrews, Scotland. The team from BC won the Cup.
In 2011 Rick expanded his golfing career to commence play on the European Senior Tour. In his first three full years he has one win, two second place and two third place finishes.
Rick Gibson can certainly be considered one of Canada’s premiere world champions by winning on three continents.
BC Junior 2nd 1980
BCGA Invitational 2nd 1979,’80,’81,’82,’83,’84
Las Vegas Rebel Classic Champion 1980
Vancouver & District Champion 1980
BC Open Champion 1985
Blue Light Champion 1988
BC Open 2nd 1989
Ontario Open 2nd 1989
Blue Light Pro-Am 2nd 1989
Philippine PGA Champion 1990,’91
Canadian PGA Champion 1990
Malaysian Open Champion 1991
Sapporo Tokyo Open Champion 1991
Asian Tour Champion 1991
KSB Novotel Open Champion 1995
Goma Cup Champion 2001
Philippine Open Champion 2002
Bad Ragaz Senior Open Champion 2014
Russian Senior Open 2nd 2014
European Senior PGA Order of Merit 2014 2nd
BC Junior Team 1978,’79,’80
Willington Cup Team 1978,’79,’80,’82,’83’,’84
World Cup Team 1990,’94,’95,’96,’97,’98
Dunhill Cup Team 1994,’95,’96
GAIL (ANDERSON) GRAHAM
Her father Bill recalls how Gail started golf. “ We were out playing a Sunday round Gail was just walking along because she had nothing better to do. So she asked if she could hit a ball and we gave her a club. Unlike most people who have to swing at it several times before they make solid contact, she hit it the first time nice and straight. That was the beginning. She borrowed clubs for a while then we got her a set and away she went.”
Gail started her golfing at age 13 in Winnipeg at the St. Charles G&CC. Her father’s job with the Royal Bank kept him in Winnipeg for nine years so Gail learned much of her golf as a teenager under the tutelage of Jim Collins and Ron James. While in Winnipeg she won the Manitoba Junior once and the Manitoba Ladies title twice. In 1986 Bill transfered to Kelowna, BC. As a natural athlete Gail’s career progressed quickly. While in BC she represented Canada on the World Amateur in 1986 and the Commonwealth team. She joined Dawn Coe and Jennifer Wyatt at Lamar University playing on the women’s golf team.
One of the highlights of Gail’s career would definitely be winning the 1997 Australian Ladies Masters Championship. “You know it was like a dream come true. My parents were there so far from home to see me win a tournament.”
Gail has been an amateur, a Futures Tour player, a LPGA professional, a LPGA official, a golf promoter, a golf commentator anda tournament consultant. But the part of the sport she enjoys most is playing. “I’d be crazy if I didn’t say I enjoy playing more. It’s what I have known for 35 years. It’s enjoyable to get out and play. I still have the competitive spirit.” She now plays on the Legends Tour.
Manitoba Junior Girls Champion 1982
Manitoba Junior Girls 2nd 1981
Manitoba Women’s Champion 1983,’85
Manitoba Women’s Amateur 2nd 1985
LPGA du Maurier Classic 1988 low amateur
Manhattan Futures Classic Champion 1988
LPGA Fieldcrest Cannon Classic Champion 1995
Australian Alpine Ladies Champion 1997
Canadian Ladies PGA Champion 1988
Manitoba Junior Team 1980,’81,’82
Manitoba Women’s Team 1983,’84,’85
BC Women’s team 1986,’87
World Amateur Team 1986
Commonwealth Team 1987
Handa Cup team 2009,’10,’11,’12,’13
As a Marine Drive junior member Alvie Thompson honed his skills watching the legendary Stan Leonard pound the ball on the course range. “From the time I was 15 I saw almost every practice shot Stan ever hit at Marine. Nobody ever hit the ball any better than he did. It was his encouragement that got me going.” When Stan left for the tour he arranged for the 21 year old Alive to commence his apprenticeship in Bill Thompson’s pro shop. Alvie got his playing career really under way in 1962, two years after he left BC to join Bill Mawhinney’s staff in the east. Playing in his first national championship Alive, the pupil, shot 64 to defeat Stan and George Knudson in a play-off to capture the 1962 Canadian Professional Golfer’s Association Championship. The following year he burned the course in 27 under par to capture the Miller Cup Match Play Event.
In the decade playing the Canadian Tour, the Caribbean tour and the PGA tour Alive recorded 7 wins and 8 seconds. Alvie’s big break seemed to come in 1968 when he finished 10th at the PGA qualifying school. H played the fall tour winning $700 at Hartford, $1000 at Doral, and $550 at Orlando. A group of Toronto businessmen decided to sponsor Alive full time on the tour the following year. “I was on top of the world.” Then for some reason his tour card was cancelled. Several inquiries never really solved the problem so alive decided to concentrate his energy playing Canadian tour golf.
In 1972 after playing the Alberta Open Alvie decided to return to his roots – the head professional job at his home club Marine Drive.
BC junior 2nd 1954
PNGA medallist 1955
BC Assistant Pro Champion 1959
Ontario Assistant Pro 2nd 1960
CPGA Champion 1962
Manitoba Open Champion 1962,’64,’68
Manitoba Open 2nd 1963
Miller Cup Open Champion 1963
CPGA Championship 2nd 1964,’65
Caracas Open 2nd 1967
BC Open 2nd 1966,’68
Ontario Open 2nd 1968
Fredericton Open Champion 1968
St John Open 2nd 1969
World Cup Team 1962
Jennifer was not exactly born into golf. Her father Bob, once a promising hockey player who was offered a minor league contract by the Chicago Blackhawks, hated the game. She got her start from family friends who encouraged her to try the game. By age 13 she joined Quilchena GC and at 15 she showed promised by winning the low gross aggregate for 15 and under girls in BC.
From 1982 thru 1984 she merged as one of the top juniors in Canada finishing third twice and second once at the Canadian Junior Girls Championships. In 1985 she finished second and low Canadian at the Canadian Ladies Amateur. “That was really a valuable tournament because it gave me a trip to the British Amateur and an exemption into the LPGA du Maurier tournament. As low Canadian I got all the attention from the CLGA officials. From 1985 – 1987 she was ranked #1 player in Canada. Because of her accomplishments in amateur golf she received a full scholarship to Lamar University where she won twice in college tournaments.
In 1992 Jennifer proved she could win on the LPGA tour. She overcame the winds at the Crestar-Farm Fresh Classic in Chesapeake Va. to win her title. She closed with a 2 under 70 – one of only three professionals to break par under the severe wind conditions. “ I think of that day a lot. It’s so clear in my mind. I was doing everything right, but I did not know how I had gotten to that point. Each morning I woke up I felt completely at ease with the world.”
The roller coaster ride of the LPGA ended for Jennifer in 1998. She began her teaching career in 1998 at Savage Creek Driving Range in Richmond BC.
Vancouver Island Junior Girls Champion 1982
Canadian Junior Girls 2nd 1982
Women’s Western Junior Invitational medallist 1983
BC Junior Girls Champion 1984
Canadian Ladies Amateur 2nd
BC Ladies Provincial Champion 1986,’87
New Zealand Amateur Champion 1987
NCAA Champion twice
Australian LPG Tour Heart Health Women’s Open 1991
LPGA Crestar-Farm Fresh Classic Champion 1992
Canadian Women’s tour event Wolf Creek 2003
Canadian Women’s tour Order of Merit winner 2003
BCPGA Women’s Champion 2001,’02,’04,’05,’06,’09
Washington State Women’s Champion 2009
BC Junior Team 1982,’83’84
Junior Americas Junior Team 1983,’84
BC Women’s Provincial Team 1985,’86’87
Canadian National Team To British Amateur
Commonwealth Team 1987