Keeping Up With 1972 U.S. Women's
Amateur Champion Mary Budke
March 8, 2005
When Mary Budke was at the height of her amateur golf career, in
the early 1970s, she had a decision to make: turn pro or turn to
"I was good enough to be a mediocre tour player,"
says Budke, who won the 1972 U.S. Women's Amateur and also
played on the victorious USA Curtis Cup team in 1974.
Budke defeated Cynthia Hill in the championship match, 5 and
4. Twice she needed 19 holes to advance, first knocking off
current USGA Executive Committee member Mary Bea Porter-King
(then just Mary Bea Porter) in the quarterfinals and then ousting
Barbara White Boddie in the semis. At the 1974 Curtis Cup held at
San Francisco Golf Club, Budke posted a 2-1 record, earning one
singles victory when she defeated Tegwen Perkins, 5 and 4. The
USA defeated Great Britain and Ireland, 13-5.
Budke she chose to follow the footsteps of her older brother
into medical school instead of a career in golf. Today this
eight-time Oregon State Women's Amateur champion is an
emergency room physician at Sacred Heart Medical Center in
Eugene, Ore. The E.R. is a "high-volume, high-stress"
environment, Budke says, but the patience and calm demeanor she
developed playing golf competitively help her to stay
"It's like in match play," she says, "I
never wanted to let my opponents see me sweat."
Budke, now 50, also captained the victorious USA Curtis Cup
team in 2002, which she calls "one of the neatest
experiences of my life," and still regularly competes in
regional amateur events. Her next mission: to win the USGA Senior
Story written by Alan Bastable of Golf Magazine