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William P. "Willie" Turnesa Passes Away at the Age of 87

ELMSFORD, N.Y.--William P. “Willie” Turnesa of Elmsford, NY and Knollwood Country Club, passed away on June 16th the age of 87 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. 

The youngest of seven brothers in the famous Turnesa golfing family, Willie gained international prominence by winning the 1938 & 1948 U.S. Amateurs as well as the 1947 British Amateur.  He was also a member of three winning Walker Cup teams, serving as captain of the 1951 squad.  In the 1938 Amateur Championship, Turnesa earned the nickname, “Willie the Wedge” for his accurate bunker shots and later donated the club he used to the USGA Museum in Far Hills, NJ.  His rich golf expertise also includes winning the MGA’s own Met Amateur, IKE Championship, and countless local titles.

Willie’s love of the game extended far beyond winning championships and titles.  His acceptance of the MGA’s most prestigious Distinguished Service Award in 1976 is but one reminder of the dedication and pride one man could give to the golf community.  A lifetime honorary member of Knollwood Country Club, Turnesa served as president of the Metropolitan Golf Association as well as the New York State Golf Association in 1955.  He was a 1990 inductee of the New York Sports Hall of Fame, yet his proudest achievement was co-founding the Reinach-Turnesa Caddie Scholarship Fund (now known as the Westchester Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Fund), which has awarded millions of dollars to college-bound caddies, and is one of the largest and most successful in the nation. 

Willie Turnesa’s dedication and loyal service to the golf community in the Metropolitan area will nonetheless be missed, but not forgotten.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Westchester Golf Association’s Caddie Scholarship Fund, 49 Knollwood Road, Elmsford, NY, 10523.

For more information, please contact Jeanne McCooey (914) 347 - 4653

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