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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Golf Loses One Of The Good Guys

Golf lost one of the really good guys recently when Gene Borek passed away after a seven year battle with cancer.

I first met Gene when I interviewed him about Metropolis, the club in White Plains, NY, where he was head pro for 25 years. In that and every subsequent conversation, he was accommodating, amusing, and as knowledgeable about the game as anyone I've ever met. Not surprising, either, considering Gene's record as one of the most accomplished club pro competitors of our time.

Gene won the PGA National Stroke Play Championship twice and the PGA National Match Play Championship once. He competed in 21 majors, including 11 PGA Championships and 10 US Opens. One of his outstanding performances was the course record 65 he shot in the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont, a record that was broken two days later by Johnny Miller who went on to win the Championship that year.

As would be expected from a player of that caliber, Gene was a force to be reckoned with in local competitions. He won the Met PGA Championship three times, was twice Met Player of the Year, won three Long Island PGA Championships, two Long Island Open titles and two Westchester PGA titles. His list of honors includes membership in four halls of fame (Met PGA, Westchester Sports, Yonkers and Metropolis), being named Met PGA Professional of the year in 1972, Met PGA Teacher of the Year in 1996, and the 2003 recipient of the Met PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award for Club Relations and Mentoring.

Gene was a valued member of Metropolis. Club President Neda Birbrower said,
"Once in a great while an organization is fortunate enough to have a true treasure in their ranks. Metropolis had one in Gene Borek for over 25 years and we will miss him enormously."
Won't we all.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

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