At its May 13 meeting, the Hall of Fame Committee selected five standouts for this year’s class. The honorees are Frank Fuhrer Jr., Dorothy Campbell Hurd, Carl Kaufmann, Jim Simons and Roy Vucinich. This group will be formally recognized at the WPGA’s Fall Players Dinner in October.
Frank B. Fuhrer, Jr., has shown love and deep interest in golf since he was a boy in East Brady. His father founded Ridgeview Golf Club, now known as St. Jude. A lifelong golfer with a handicap as low as three, he and his brother Richard won the 1960 WPGA Brothers Championship. He played golf, soccer, basketball and baseball at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, where he earned thirteen varsity letters and his bachelor’s degree. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh Katz Business School for graduate work and earned a master’s degree in Organizational Behavior in 1951. He has generously supported both schools financially as a major part of his philanthropic profile. In golf, he is the area’s premier financial benefactor. His significant support includes both the Tri-State PGA Section and the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association. The Fuhrer Invitational is the top purse for area golf professionals. He has sponsored the Association’s team matches with other golf associations since 1994. In addition to supporting local golf, he sponsored the Family House Invitational from 1984-1997, a two-day event that brought PGA Tour stars to the area. The event raised over $3 million for Family House.
Dorothy Campbell Hurd (1883-1963) was born in Scotland and was a Pittsburgh area resident for a decade during her best competitive years. In this period she won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1909, 1910 and 1924. She was the medalist in 1916 and runner-up in 1920, and is the oldest champion ever at 41. Her three U.S. Women’s Amateur titles are exceeded by only four players. The 15-year span between victories is a record that stands today. In addition to the three U.S. Women’s Amateurs, she also won the British Ladies Amateur in 1909 and 1911, the Canadian Women’s Amateur from 1910-12 and the Scottish Ladies Championship from 1905-08. She won the North and South Women’s Amateur in 1918, 1920 and 1921 and the U.S. Women’s Senior Championship in 1938. In 1909 she was the first player to claim the U.S. Women’s Amateur and British Ladies Amateur in the same year. At the age of 51 she won the 1934 Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur Championship. Many golf instructors regard her as one of the first players with a “modern golf swing.” Campbell Hurd was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1976.
Carl Kaufmann (1899-1951), nicknamed “The Schenley Sphinx,” won three straight U.S. Amateur Public Links from 1927-29. This accomplishment in USGA championships has only been matched by Willie Anderson and Tiger Woods. Anderson won U.S. Open from 1903-05 while Woods won the U.S. Junior Amateur from 1991-93 and the U.S. Amateur from 1994-96. Kaufmann qualified for match play in the U.S. APL eleven times from 1923-40 and was runner-up in the 1926. He won the 1925 West Penn Amateur, and ten Pittsburgh City Amateur titles. He learned golf while caddying at the Country Club of Pittsburgh.
Jim Simons (1950-2005) was an outstanding junior player. He won the 1965 & 1966 PGA Junior Championship, the 1966 West Penn Junior, and in 1969 he won Western Junior and the West Penn and Pennsylvania Amateurs. He qualified for two U.S. Opens before graduating from high school. After transferring from Houston to Wake Forest, he was a two-time All-American and was named NCAA Player of the Year in 1971. In June of the same year, Simon led the U.S. Open at Merion after three rounds before finishing fifth. No amateur has finished higher since. In a spectacular 1971, he was also runner-up in the British Amateur and represented the United States in the Walker Cup. Simons played the PGA Tour from 1972-86 where he recorded three victories, the New Orleans Open in 1977, the 1978 Memorial Tournament and the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am in 1982. He was also the first player to win a televised PGA Tour event using a metal driver and was inducted into the Wake Forest University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.
Roy Vucinich has won five West Penn Opens in four decades, tying only Jock Hutchison and Perry DelVecchio for most wins. He won many Tri-State PGA titles including the Match Play in 1981, Tri-State Opens in 1973, 1980 and 1985, and the Tri-State Section Championship in 1977 and 1998. His employment honors include Teacher of the Year in 1989 and Professional of the Year in 1994. In 1997, he finished 12th in the British Senior Open and was named the PGA of America’s Senior Player of the Year, and in 1998 he finished in the top 25 of the U.S. Senior Open. He won the 1984 Pennsylvania PGA and 1988 Pennsylvania Open, and qualified for the 1984 US Open and two PGA Championships in 1978 and 1986. He won the Tri-State Section’s McKay Trophy in 1977, 1981 and 1985 for the best tournament scoring average. He once shot 59 in a Tri-State PGA competition at age 58.