21 Oct 2014
The Advertiser Open Golf Tournament
Bob Stevens tees off at the 16th tee as Kel Nagle looks on (Filed 14 Apr 1959)
Ben Hook (MC)
Ladies and Gentlemen it gives me great pleasure to announce the first inductee tonight into the South Australian Golf Industry Hall of Fame is:
The late ROBERT STEVENS
Robert Francis ‘Bob’ Stevens was born in Adelaide on 2nd October 1928 and attended St Peter’s College. At around 8 years of age, Bob took to playing golf at the Glenelg Golf Club.
In 1946 he won the Junior Championship of South Australia and went on to compile an outstanding golfing resume.
In 1948 he won the South Australian Open Title from Jim Mills and the following year reached the semi-finals of the Australian Amateur Championship at Royal Sydney.
In 1951 Bob suffered from sarcoidosis, severe lung and eye trouble which threatened blindness. He was in Royal Adelaide Hospital for three months but cortisone treatment finally affected a cure.
In 1952 he recovered to win the Australian Amateur Championship at Lake Karrinyup (Western Australia) and won his second SA Open. The same year he also won both the New Zealand Foursomes - Open and Amateur Championships.
In 1953 he had perhaps his best year:
Winning his first SA Amateur Championship from Bill Rymill after being runner up on three previous occasions.
Winning his third SA Open at Royal Adelaide equaling the then course record of 69 in the final round.
Won the SA Foursomes Championship with Dick Destree
Won the SA Mixed Foursomes Championship with Dot Boully
He also played No. 1 position in the Australian team to tour New Zealand.
In 1954 aged 25 he won his fourth and final SA Open title and was selected in the Australian Team with Bill Shephard, Doug Bachli, Peter Heard, Harry Berwick, Jack Coogan and Sloan Morpeth (who was the non-playing Captain), which won the Commonwealth series at St Andrews, on the Old Course against Great Britain and Ireland, Canada South Africa and New Zealand.
In 1955 Bob was a member of Glenelg’s first Simpson Cup Victory.
And in both 1956 and 1957 he won the Glenelg Club Championship and Dalton Cup, (Champion of Club Champions).
Against top Australian and Overseas Professionals, he won the Ampol Tournament in 1958.
And was then given the honor of Captaining the Australian team at the inaugural World Amateur Team Championships for the ‘Eisenhower Trophy’ played at St Andrews, in which Australian defeated America after a tie. (The last time the Americans had been defeated in an international event was in the Walker Cup 20 years prior in 1937).
The win was said to boost Australia's golf image immeasurably.
In 1959 Bob was elected a member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
Also in 59’ he won the SA Amateur Championship for a second time from David Cleland.
In 1961 he won his third SA Amateur Championship from Dick Foot and completed ten years as a member, twice as Captain of the Australian Team, during which Australian was defeated only once, in 1961.
By 1963 Bob had completed eighteen years as a member, frequently as Captain of the Glenelg Simpson Cup Team. His overall record was 54 wins from 90 matches at 60%. He won three Simpson Cup titles and record in those seasons was 13 wins from 17 matches.
Bob was selected for the South Australian State Team 18 times and Captained the side on numerous occasions. He was Captain in 1962 when the SA Men’s Team claimed the National Title.
In 1966 Bob resigned as Vice-President of SAGA as after marrying in 1959 and with two sons and a daughter, Bob moved to Sydney in 1966, setting up a successful business in the packaging industry. He retired in 1978 but was often sought as a consultant.
As a post script in 1978, Bob was talked into playing in the Australian Amateur Championship, after 15 years absence and reached the quarter finals at the age of 50…..he was some player.
Bob sufferred lung problems as early as 1951 and had lost a lung to cancer. Early in 2008 he underwent further surgery, but on 3 October 2008 he suffered a fatal stroke. This coincidently was the day prior to the playing of the Eisenhower Trophy in Adelaide.
Bob’s motto, in anything he undertook, was ‘remember where the victory lies - in the struggle not the prize’.
3 South Australian Amateur titles
1 Australian Amateur title
4 South Australian Open titles
18 years in the South Australian State Team
Member of the Australian team for 10 years and National Captain
Ladies and Gentlemen an amazing player – I would like to posthumously induct into the 2014 South Australian Golf Industry Hall of Fame: Bob Stevens
Accepting the award on Bob’s behalf is his son Andrew who along with Bob’s wife Christine have flown over from Sydney to be here tonight.
*Prior to Andrew (pictured below) being called to stage to talk about his father current Hall of Fame Member and fellow Glenelg Member Bob Tuohy spoke in awe of Bob Stevens.
1958 Winning Eisenhower Cup Team (Peter Toogood, Bruce Devlin, Doug Bachli, Bob Stevens (Captain)