Boynton Beach, FL (Jan. 25, 2012) – Standout amateur golfers Morris “Moss” Beecroft Jr. and Bob Cochran Sr. were inducted into the Quail Ridge Country Club’s Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony Wednesday night.
Beecroft was one of the U.S.’s top amateurs from 1971-96 as the Virginia native was runner-up in the 1992 U.S. Senior Amateur (where he was medalist), low amateur in the 1992 U.S. Senior Open and was ranked in the top 10 three times by Golf Digest. He spent a good part of his career playing – and beating – recognizable players such as Tom Kite, Lanny Wadkins, Davis Love III, Steve Melnyk, Billy Joe Patton and Dale Morey.
Despite his many accomplishments, Beecroft said he was shocked when he heard he had been elected into the Hall of Fame.
“We have some very good golfers here at Quail Ridge, so for me to be put into that category with them, it’s a mighty humbling thing,” said Beecroft, who was presented by two other former top amateurs, Vinny Giles and Stan Fischer. “I’m very pleased and very proud to go into this Hall of Fame.”
Beecroft won the Virginia State Senior Match Play Championship six times, the Virginia State Senior Medal Play Championship twice and played in three U.S. Senior Opens, six U.S. Senior Amateurs and three U.S. Amateurs.
“He has been a mainstay of golf in Virginia for more than 50 years,” said Giles, who won the 1972 U.S. Amateur and the 1975 British Amateur. “He’s 81 years old and he can shoot his age almost every time he plays. He’s a tribute to the game.”
Cochran dominated an earlier era, being born the same year (1912) as legends Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson. Cochran won his first significant title in 1931 and the St. Louis native continued to collect trophies until 1982 – an amazing gap of 51 years. Cochran – dubbed the Old Grey Fox -- played in three Masters, 14 U.S. Amateurs and six U.S. Senior Amateurs, and finished second to Freddie Haas when Haas won the 1945 Memphis Invitational to end Nelson’s streak of 11 consecutive PGA wins.
“Bobby Jones in 1945 said my dad was the best amateur golfer in the world,” said Bill Cochran, a son of Bob. “My dad played all those guys (Hogan, Snead and Nelson) and beat them all, too. But he could make more money from his business selling paper bags than he could playing golf, so he never turned professional. His four priorities were always 1. God, 2. Family; 3. His business; and 4. Golf.”
Cochran won the St. Louis District Golf Association Championship eight times, a feat topped only by a 32-year gap between his first and last titles. He also won the St. Louis District Senior Championship eight times during a 19-year span and the Missouri State Amateur four times. He was a member of the victorious 1961 U.S. Walker Cup team and was runner-up to Joe Carr in the 1960 British Amateur.
Cochran was past President of the St. Louis District Golf Association, three-time President of the Missouri Golf Association and a 50-year member of the Missouri State Amateur Board and the USGA Board before becoming a longtime resident at Quail Ridge Country Club. Fittingly, when he died in 2003 while walking in his neighborhood at 90, he was holding a golf club in his hand.
Beecroft and Cochran are the 11th and 12th inductees in the Quail Ridge Sports Hall of Fame. The others: Sam Snead and Dr. Robert Harris (2011), Robert Hardy (2010), William Ely and Claude Harmon (2009), Bruce Karr, Harreld Kirkpatrick and John Owens (2008) and Ralph Bogart and Morey (2007).
About Quail Ridge County Club Quail Ridge Country Club, located in Boynton Beach, Fla., offers its members two Joe Lee designed championship golf courses, extensive practice facilities, a 16-court tennis center, a clubhouse for fine and casual dining and a modern, free-standing health and fitness center.