'Dr. Ed' knows golf courses well

2011-06-20T00:00:00Z 2011-06-20T06:17:39Z 'Dr. Ed' knows golf courses well Arizona Daily Star
June 20, 2011 12:00 am

In celebration of Arizona's centennial, the Star will feature our picks for the 100 best athletes, moments and teams.

Throughout the summer, we will showcase our list - with the first 90 in no particular order.

In August, Greg Hansen will choose his top 10, with a column on each.

Ed Updegraff

Achievement

Considered perhaps the top golfer from Tucson, Updegraff played in the Masters six times and on three U.S. Walker Cup teams.

He won the 1999 Bob Jones Award, the United States Golf Association's top yearly honor.

Known as "Dr. Ed," he also captained the U.S. Walker Cup team in 1975 and won the U.S. Senior Amateur in 1981 at Seattle Golf Club - the first USGA title of his career. He played in 17 U.S. Amateurs and won the Western and Pacific Coast amateurs.

Locally, he captured 27 club championships at Tucson Country Club and finished fourth at the Tucson Open twice (in 1962 and 1969).

The son of a physician, Updegraff was a caddie at the nearby nine-hole municipal course in Boone, Iowa, where he learned to play. He went on to be the undefeated Iowa state high school champion.

He moved to Tucson after graduating from University of Iowa medical school in 1945.

Among his numerous career highlights, in 1963, he helped the United States win the Walker Cup championship, advanced to the semifinals of the British Amateur, and finished fifth at the Sunnehanna Tournament in Pennsylvania.

Updegraff made the cut once in his six Masters appearances, in 1966. He shot 76-75-77-76.

Nowadays, he is a retired urologist in Tucson. He started his own private practice in 1968.

Hometown, current age

Boone, Iowa; 89

He said it

"I love to play golf, but I'm glad I'm not a pro. I would lose my appreciation of the game and it would take all of the fun out of it for me. … My medical practice is different. There's a new challenge every day," he said in 1963.

Sarah Trotto

 

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