In Other Golf News

Bill Wright, 1st Black USGA champion, dies at 84

Los Angeles instructor, who won 1959 U.S. Amateur Public Links title, had suffered from a stroke and Alzheimer’s in recent years

Died: Bill Wright, the first Black golfer to win a U.S. Golf Association championship, on Feb. 19 in Los Angeles, the USGA reported. He was 84 and had suffered from a stroke in 2017 and Alzheimer’s disease, according to his wife of 60 years, Ceta. At age 23, Wright won the 1959 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, defeating Frank Campbell, 3 and 2, in the match-play final at Wellshire Golf Course in Denver. “He felt so thrilled to be the best golfer that day, not the best Black golfer,” Ceta Wright told The Seattle Times, according to a story by David Shefter on USGA.org. Wright, a native of Kansas City, Mo., moved to Portland, Ore., with his family when he was 12 and later to Seattle, where he was taught golf by his father at Jefferson Park Golf Course. In college at Western Washington, Wright won the 1960 NAIA national title. He played the PGA Tour briefly in the 1960s. Wright taught elementary school and worked as a golf instructor for years at The Lakes at El Segundo, a nine-hole executive course in Los Angeles.

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