BOULDER, Colo. — Longtime professional golfer Dale Douglass died Wednesday at age 86.
The University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) said Douglass died in Scottsdale, Arizona, after a long illness.
Douglass won three times on the PGA Tour and won 11 times on the PGA Champions Tour, previously known as the Senior Tour.
Douglass grew up in Fort Morgan where he graduated high school before enrolling at CU in the fall of 1955. He was the first golfer from the University of Colorado to play on the PGA Tour.
At CU, Douglass was a three-time, first-team all-conference performer, in the Big Seven in 1956 and the Big Eight in 1958 and 1959.
He was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010, the second golfer after Hale Irwin to be so honored.
"Dale was so very proud of being from Fort Morgan and the University of Colorado," Irwin said. "He wore the school colors proudly. Personally, I’ve lost a close friend I’ve have for some 57 years. More importantly, golf has lost a real gentleman and a man who really championed golf throughout the country. He did so much for a lot of people, particularly in Colorado. There was never a bad word you heard from anyone about Dale Douglass."
"Dale was like my big brother and I was like his bratty little brother," said Irwin. "We throw the word mentor around a lot, but in Dale’s case, I can elevate the word mentor to friend. I'll miss him."
Douglass defeated Gary Player by one stroke in the 1986 U.S. Senior Open. Douglass also had 26 Senior Open runner-up finishes to go with his 11 victories.
"Dale was a class act," said CU Athletic Director Rick George. "He was a true gentleman in every respect and carried himself on and off the course with grace and humility. He had a long and successful career, not only playing the game, but giving back to it as well."
Douglass created an endowment for the CU golf program and also sponsored an annual tournament in his name in Fort Morgan.
"This is a very sad day for Colorado golf," said CU head coach Roy Edwards. "Dale Douglass is an icon at every level of the game. As great of a golfer as he was, he was even a better person. A true legend who was a tremendous friend to everyone."
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