Six-time WPGA Amateur Champion, Eben Byers
Inducted Thursday, October 14, 2015 at Chartiers Country Club
Eben Byers was the area's first USGA champion, winning the 1906 Amateur at Englewood Golf Club, NJ. He was also runner-up in 1902 and 1903, and reached the 1907 semifinals, thus making the "final four" an amazing four times in six years. This run is among the best by any player in the national amateur's history. He player every Amateur, 1900-19, except one.
His most famous loss was during the first round in 1916, the first Amateur played at Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, PA. A fourteen-year old Bob Jones beat Byers 3&1. Byers and Jones were known for their tempers. When Jones was asked about his victory against the older opponent, Jones commented, "Mr. Byers ran out of clubs before I did."
His local victories included six West Penn Amateurs, 1901, 1902, 1906, 1908, 1912, and 1915. His six titles are third in total Amateur victories, exceeded only by William C, Fownes, Jr., with eight and Sean Knapp with seven. Byers also won the 1902 and 1906 West Penn Open. Winning the Amateur and Open in the same year twice, 1902 and 1906, is a singular feat. The only golfers ever to win the Amateur and Ope in the same year other than Byers were Fownes, 1904, Jim Masserio, 1971, and Nathan Smith, 2008. The Amateur's early era, 1901-1917, was dominated by Fownes and Byers; the dup won fourteen in seventeen years. They were fierce rivals.
Whle on a summer holiday with his family, Byers won the inaugural Rhode Islands Amateur Championship in 1902.
About the WPGA
Founded in 1899, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is the steward of amateur golf in the region. Started by five Member Clubs, the association now has nearly 200 Member Clubs and 33,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund.