2013 INDUCTEES TO THE GOLF HALL OF FAME OF BC
The BC Golf House Society would like to announce the 2013 Inductees to the Golf Hall of Fame of BC:
1994 Dunhill Cup Team, Doug Bajus, Sandy Harper, Jim Nelford, and Lisa Walters.
1994 DUNHILL CUP TEAM
In October 2014 Canada celebrates one of the greatest moments in Canadian golf history – the 1994 Dunhill Cup win. The team comprised of three BC golfers entered the event as unranked and unknown. Originally Richard Zokol was the third member, but he decided to remain on the PGA Tour to increase his tour earnings in order to secure his PGA card for the following year.
Dave had the difficult task of choosing a replacement from Ray Stewart or Jim Rutledge. Because of his strong showing over the previous three months Dave chose Ray Stewart as Richard’s replacement.
In the preliminary rounds each member contributed to the ultimate success by defeating world ranked stars. Dave defeated Bernard Langer and Nick Price, Ray defeated Jesper Parnevik and David Frost, and Rick defeated Wayne Westner.
The final pitted the heavily favoured US team comprised of Tom Kite, Curtis Strange and Fred Couples against the lowly Canadians. Dave put Canada ahead 1-0 when he defeated Kite, the former US Open Champion. Strange evened the match when he downed Rick 67 – 74. This placed the success squarely on Abbotsford’s Ray Stewart’s shoulders. Slowly as the matched progressed Ray built a commanding 2-stroke lead over Fred Couples. As he stroked in his six-inch putt on the 18th green to secure the win, Ray remarked: “I am scared to death.”
In 1954 Doug Bajus reached the pinnacle of his golfing career. Hilles Pickens, the editor for the Canadian Sport Magazine, ranked him the number 1 amateur player in Canada. In the 1954 BC Open Doug participated in one of the more bizarre finishes. With the rain pelting down on Saturda, the tournament committee decided to hold a 18-hole play-off between Doug Bajus, Stan Leonard, Chuck Congdon, and Jack Langford. Doug battled the three professionals for eighteen holes on Sunday losing to Leonard and Langford on the eighteenth hole. Leonard won the 1954 BC Open title the following Sunday in another eighteen hole play-off.
Doug’s other achievements in 1954 included the Vancouver and City Amateur Championship, medallist in the BC Amateur Championship and individual winner in the Willingdon Cup matches prior to the Canadian Amateur Championship. He culminated the year by being the low amateur in the 1954 Canadian Open finishing fourth in the overall field.
After representing Canada in the America’s Cup Matches in 1954 and 1958 Doug represented Canada in the inaugural World Amateur Team matches at St. Andrews, Scotland.
From 1981 -1989 Doug joined the senior golf ranks winning three BC Seniors titles in 1981, 1982, 1984.
At the 1984 presentation BC Open presentation ceremony Sandy commenced with this remark: “No short jokes please.” Although he may be small in stature, from the mid seventies into the present decade, Sandy Harper has accumulated one of the more unique golfing records among BC players. British Columbia Golf conducts championships for all age groups in BC. Sandy has won on every level except for one. He has won the BC Junior, BC Amateur, BC Master 40 and the BC Senior. He requires the BC Mid-Amateur to hold all men’s titles.
To add uniqueness to his list of accomplishments he won the 1984 BC Open, 1984 BC Match and the BC PGA title in 1986 and 1989.
Jim Nelford grew up playing golf on the local courses. As his skills improved he joined the ranks of the future stars at Marine Drive. As a potential junior star Jim earned himself a scholarship to Brigham Young University. His amateur successes rose during his university days. He won two Canadian Amateur titles in 1975 and 1976 followed with a second in 1977. At the 1977 Western Amateur he began the first foreigner to win the title.
Clearly Canada had another budding star to follow Stan Leonard and George Knudsen. He turned professional in 1977 to commence his goal to become a PGA star. Next he teamed with Dan Halldorson to win the World Cup in 1980, a BC Open victory in 1983 and a win in the 1983 Essex International secured his next step the PGA Tour. Two-second place finishes on the tour at the
1983 Sea Pines Classic and at the 1984 Pebble Beach Pro-Am showed Jim had the skills to be Canada’s next successful PGA tour star.
Then on September 8, 1985 Jim’s world collapsed. A water skiing accident in Arizona severed two tendons in his right arm. Luckily he was not killed, but his dream and Canada’s dream for future stardom ended.
Growing up in the small coastal town of Prince Rupert, BC Lisa rose to a successful LPGA career player. But the journey was one of injury. After five knee operations one can only speculate what could have been her successes.
She and Dawn Coe competed against one another from 1975 – 1983, then the two stars joined the LPGA tour. Lisa won more BC Amateur titles, (1979, 1980, and 1981) than Dawn, but Dawn won the Canadian Women’s Amateur in 1983.
The two British Columbians followed similar careers on the LPGA tour. After a nine-year struggle to win their first LPGA event, Lisa and Dawn won in consecutive weeks in February 1992. First Lisa won the Itoki Hawaiian Open and the following week Dawn won the Women’s Kemper Open. Lisa successfully defended her Hawaiian title. Lisa’s third title came at the Oldsmobile Classic 1998.
Unfortunately even today injury prevents Lisa from participating in the game she loves.