Tucsonan Jeff Kern tips his hat in recognition of the crowd applause as he finished at the 9th hole at Tucson National during the 1998 Tucson Chrysler Classic. Photo by Bruce McClelland / Arizona Daily Star

Bruce McClelland / Arizona Daily Star

As a 20-year-old Amphitheater High grad in 1977, Kern won the City Amateur, the Arizona Amateur, was second in the Southwestern Amateur and second in the U.S. Public Links finals. He went on to win a record nine City Amateur championships and seemed poised for a PGA Tour career. But his career trajectory was detoured when he had two fingers amputated after a construction accident when he was 21. 

Sports columnist for the Arizona Daily Star.