The USGA’s 2013 national champions took their place in history this week when the USGA Museum added its newest plaque to the Hall of Champions exhibit.
The USGA Museum displays the names of every USGA individual champion, year-by-year, on bronze-finished plaques that encircle the trophy case in the Hall of Champions. The plaques display the winners’ names along with the course at which the championship was contested.
This year’s roster of champions includes familiar names such as Justin Rose (U.S. Open), Inbee Park (U.S. Women’s Open) and Kenny Perry (U.S. Senior Open), alongside six-time USGA champion Ellen Port, as well as amateurs making their first mark on a national or international scale.
Rose became the first Englishman since 1970 to win the U.S. Open, prevailing by two strokes over Jason Day and Phil Mickelson at Merion Golf Club. Park, of Korea, captured her third major of the 2013 season when she prevailed by four strokes over I.K. Kim at Sebonack Golf Club.
Perry overcame a 10-stroke deficit over the final 36 holes to claim his first USGA championship, fulfilling a lifetime dream with the largest comeback in U.S. Senior Open history. Perry had twice lost in a playoff in major championships on the PGA Tour.
“It’s probably my greatest win. When you win your National [Senior] Open, I mean, that’s what we all strive for,” said Perry, 52, after his victory at Omaha Country Club last July. “I’m very proud of that trophy. I think it’s probably the greatest trophy I’ve won.”
Along with the thousands of casual or avid golf fans who visit the Museum annually, the occasional USGA champion stops by to admire their name etched in history.
“We have to make sure to get every detail right, because we have a lot of golfers who stop by, and they always like to take their picture in front of the plaques,” said Rob Alvarez, collections archivist for the USGA Museum. “That’s always a big draw.”
Among recent visitors to the USGA Museum were JoAnne Gunderson Carner, who has eight USGA victories, the most of any female player (1956 Girls’ Junior; 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1968 Women’s Amateur; 1971, 1976 Women’s Open), So Yeon Ryu (2011 U.S. Women’s Open), Lucas Glover (2009 U.S. Open), Morgan Pressel (2005 Women’s Amateur), Wendy Ward (1994 U.S. Women’s Amateur) and Sarah LeBrun Ingram (1991, 1993, 1994 Women’s Mid-Amateur).
“It’s a tremendous honor to be on this wall,” said Pressel when she visited in 2012. “You could spend a day, just in this room, looking at all the amazing champions of the past.”
“I’m very humbled to see all the names grouped together by year,” said Ward. “To be in the company of [fellow 1994 champions] Patty Sheehan, Tiger Woods… then you look further back, all the way to 1895 – fantastic.”
The 2013 champions are Rose, Park, Perry, Lauren Diaz-Yi (Women’s Amateur Public Links), Jordan Niebrugge (Amateur Public Links), Gabriella Then (Girls’ Junior), Scottie Scheffler (Junior Amateur), Emma Talley (Women’s Amateur), Matthew Fitzpatrick (U.S. Amateur), Julia Potter (Women’s Mid-Amateur), Michael McCoy (Mid-Amateur), Doug Hanzel (Senior Amateur) and Port (Senior Women’s Amateur).
Park had her name etched for the third time, as she won the 2002 Girls’ Junior and 2008 Women’s Open. Port’s list of victories also includes the 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2011 Women’s Mid-Amateur titles and the 2012 Senior Women’s Amateur.
The USGA Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for USGA Members and $3.50 for youths ages 13-17. Children 12 and under are admitted free. The group rate is $5 per person.
Joey Flyntz is an associate writer for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.