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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

GARY COWAN

Inducted in 1967

Member Details

Date of Birth: January 28, 1938
Place of Birth: Kitchener, Ontario
Sport: Golf
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1961

Canadian Senior Amateur Champion

1962

Low Amateur Scorer in the World Amateur Team Championship at Kawana, Japan

1965

Low amateur in the Masters' Tournament in Augusta, Georgia 

1966, 1971

U.S. Amateur Champion

1968

Ontario Open Champion

1969

Porter Cup

1970

U.S. North & South Championship 

Named the best canadian male golfer of the century 

Honoured Member GARY COWAN
Inspire

Story

In the case of Gary Cowan, sub-par performance is what made him a champion. He was only 28 years old in 1967 when he was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of fame, and by then he'd already created a lasting imprint in the world of golf. He first shot into national prominence in 1956 by winning the Ontario and Canadian junior titles. Five years later, Cowan was Canadian amateur champion. He was also a runner-up for this title on three occasions, in 1959, 1960, and 1964. So accomplished and steady was this Kitchener, Ontario golfer that by 1966 he had already been a member of Ontario's inter-provincial team nine times, a member of the Americas Golf Cup team five times, and of the World amateur team on four occasions. In 1962, Cowan was low medalist in the world amateur team championship in Japan, known as the Eisenhower Trophy competition. He was a member of the commonwealth team in 1959 and 1963. In 1964, he added another noteworthy feat to his growing list of accomplishments by finishing in a tie for low amateur in the Masters tournament at Augusta, Georgia. Winner of almost every competition open to a Canadian amateur, he peaked with a thrilling one-stroke victory over Deane Beman in the 1966 U.S. Amateur at Ardmore, Pasadena. Again, in 1971, he won the U.S. Amateur at Willmington Country Club in such an unbelievable fashion that fans and players alike still talk about it. Cowan won on the seventy-second hole by hitting an eagle two from the rough with a 9-iron, 135 yards from the green. Although up to 1967 he had won the Ontario Amateur only once (in 1964), he earned ranking as Canada's No. 1 golfer on three separate occasions, in 1960, 1961, and 1966. The latter year, he was voted Ontario's Athlete of the Year. Cowan retired from competitive golf in 1972, after being named Canadian male golfer of the century.


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