First U.S. Junior Amateur champ dies at 80

ENCINITAS, Calif. -- Dean Lind, who won the inaugural U.S. Junior Amateur in 1948, died Dec. 15. He was 80 and had suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

Lind, a 17-year-old state high school champion from Rockford, Ill., defeated Ken Venturi, a future U.S. Open champion, 4-and-2, in the 18-hole final at the University of Michigan Golf Course. Lind used that match as a springboard to a scholarship at Michigan, where he captained the Wolverines to two Big Ten Conference titles.

Lind didn't play much golf for nearly a decade after college. During the Korean War, he was stationed with the Army at Fort Knox, Ky., then worked for his father’s water-treatment company in Rockford.

“I didn’t have any interest in being a traveling salesman, and that’s about what golf was back then,” Lind told the Rockford Register Star in 2003. “Get in your car and drive to the next town to try to make ends meet.”

Lind helped found The Ledges Golf Course in Roscoe, Ill., where he served as the head pro from 1965 to 1972. He played the Asian Tour for a number of winters, according to the Register Star.

In 1975, at age 45, Lind qualified for the U.S. Open at Medinah near Chicago. He also qualified for four U.S. Senior Opens.

Lind had moved from Rockford to California in 1989.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sally, and two daughters. Lind's daughter Lisa Holton coaches the men's and women's golf teams at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo.

-- Information from the Rockford Register Star and USGA.org was used in this report

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