Oct 03, 2008

Brewer to receive USGA’s 2009 Bob Jones Award

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News, USGA

Bob Jones Award

FAR HILLS, N.J.– O. Gordon Brewer Jr., 71, a two-time USGA Senior Amateur champion, longtime volunteer and dedicated servant to the game of golf, has been chosen to receive the United States Golf Association’s 2009 Bob Jones Award.

  Presented annually since 1955, the USGA’s highest honor is given in recognition of sportsmanship in golf. The Award, selected from nominations across the golf community and chosen by a diverse and distinguished committee, seeks to recognize a person who emulates Jones’ spirit, his personal qualities and his attitude toward the game and its players. The Award will be presented to Brewer on February 7, 2009, at the USGA’s Annual Meeting in Newport Beach, Calif.

  “It’s a tremendous honor,” said Brewer, “in fact, when I received the phone call, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

  “When you look at the list of winners, you’re humbled,” he said. “To be part of such an esteemed group and to know this award reflects Bobby Jones and the model he set for the game, makes me very grateful for the recognition.”

  “Gordon is well-known as a golfer and person, and he has a deservedly outstanding reputation on and off the course,” said fellow Bob Jones Award winner Bill Campbell, who won the U.S. Amateur eight years after receiving the Award in 1956 and is the only person ever to serve as both USGA president and captain of The R. “He knows golf from the inside-out, and is widely admired in all respects.”

  Like Campbell and other past winners of the USGA’s most prestigious award – a list that includes inspirational sports figures such as Byron Nelson, “Babe” Zaharias and Arnold Palmer – Brewer is more than just a great champion.

  “The Bob Jones Award going to Gordon Brewer is recognition well deserved,” said Palmer. “Gordon has been a great credit to the game, both as a fine player and as a long-time supporter of amateur golf and its principles of competition and sportsmanship.”

  Brewer began his storied career as a top amateur golfer in 1967, when he won the Philadelphia Amateur Championship. He added a second Philadelphia Amateur in 1976 and a Pennsylvania Amateur title in 1984. Competing at the national level, Brewer played in more than 40 USGA championships, beginning with the 1968 U.S. Amateur. He finished runner-up to longtime fellow-competitor and friend Jay Sigel in the 1985 U.S. Mid-Amateur and won the USGA Senior Amateur in 1994 and 1996.  In 2008, Brewer won three Golf Association of Philadelphia Super-Senior titles.

  Brewer’s career was highlighted in 2002, when he captained the USA Team at the World Amateur Team Championship, leading D.J. Trahan, Hunter Mahan and Ricky Barnes to victory in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “It was an honor to serve as captain of the team,” Brewer said. “I have the utmost respect for the team competition and what it means.”

  As a key figure in the Pennsylvania golf community, Brewer served as the president of the Pennsylvania Golf Association and chairman of the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust Fund. He also served on the USGA Executive Committee from 1996 to 2001 and on the PGA Board of Directors from 2001 to 2003.

  “It’s hard for me to describe the importance of golf in my life,” Brewer said. “That’s why I agreed to accept the request to become a candidate for the USGA Executive Committee. When one has gotten as much as I have out of golf, it’s hard to say no when you’re asked to give something back to the game.”

  Brewer served the USGA tirelessly while dealing with some of the organization’s most complex issues.  As Chair of the Implements and Ball Committee, Brewer was a key player in the efforts to limit the spring-like effect of golf clubs. He was also a charter member of the Mid-Amateur Championship Committee, established in 1981.

  A former president at Huntingdon Valley (Pa.) Country Club – and seven-time club champion – Brewer currently serves as President of Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey.

  “They don’t come any finer than Gordon,” said James D. Sykes, former executive director of the Golf Association of Philadelphia and Brewer’s longtime friend.

  An accomplished sportsman in his youth who earned a basketball scholarship to Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., Brewer didn’t play golf until he was 19 years old. He became fascinated with the sport after a few trips to the driving range, and soon was a devoted student of the golf swing and its mechanics. His diligence resulted in his making the golf team his final two years at Guilford.  “I wasn’t very good at all starting out,” Brewer said. “But once I started to play, I just absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with the game.”

  “Gordon doesn’t do anything lightly when it comes to golf,” said Jack Connelly, longtime head professional at Huntingdon Valley and a former president of the PGA of America. “He loves the game and gives a lot back, because of the gentleman and the sportsman that he is. He was my first golf chairman when I became head professional 35 years ago, and I learned a lot from him. And as a PGA board member, he contributed immensely, because of his knowledge of the game and his business acumen.”

  Professionally, Brewer served as the Vice President of Finance for Alco Standards, Inc. and IKON Office Solutions in Philadelphia where he operated with the greatest integrity, living Jones’ command for sportsmanship and fair play on and off the golf course.

  Brewer and his wife, Gail, have been married for 49 years and reside in Pine Valley, N.J. Brewer’s son, Oliver G. (Chip) III, is president and chief executive officer of Adams Golf in Plano, Texas.  

About the Bob Jones Award
  Presented annually since 1955, the Bob Jones Award is the USGA’s highest honor and is given in recognition of sportsmanship in golf. The Bob Jones Award winner is selected from nominations from across the golf community and chosen by a diverse and distinguished committee that includes the Commissioners of the PGA and LPGA Tours, members of the press, and leaders of affiliated golf organizations such as PGA of America and the Golf Course Superintendents Association, as well as the USGA.

  The complete list of past recipients of the USGA’s Bob Jones Award is available at http://www.usga.org/news/2008/February/jones_award_winners.html.

About the USGA
  The USGA is the national governing body of golf in this country and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world’s golfers and golf courses. The Association’s most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Amateur. The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, funds research for better turf and a better environment, maintains a Handicap System and administers an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program, which has allocated more than $62 million over 11 years to successful programs that bring the game’s values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities. For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.

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