The reigning and oldest U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, Alma’s Randal (Randy) Lewis is competing in next week’s Masters at age 54. It’s a history-making achievement for the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member. At least in the ‘Modern Golf Era,’ Lewis appears to be the oldest amateur ever competing in the event. According to my research poring over the Masters Media Guide, here are some interesting facts about other prominent amateurs:
- Michigan’s legendary Chuck Kocsis, named by the Golf Association of Michigan in 2003 as its Amateur Player of the 20th Century, played in the Masters 11 times, the last in 1961 at age 48.
- Masters co-founder Bobby Jones last played in 1948 at age 46.
- Jay Sigel played in 11 Masters as an amateur, the last in 1988 at age 45.
- Arizona’s famed Ed Updegraff played six times, the last in 1970 at age 48.
- Billy Joe Patton, who almost won the ’54 Masters and was a six-time Walker Cupper, played 13 times, last in 1966 at age 43.
- Charles Coe, who finished T-2 in 1961—the best finish by an amateur—played 19 times, the last at 48.
- Charlie Yates, British Amateur champion, Augusta National member and contemporary of Bobby Jones, played in 11 Masters, the last in 1947 at age 34.