College players, alums on Tour remember Balicki, 65
Golfweek senior writer Ron Balicki, college golf’s most loyal, trusted and longstanding friend, passed away peacefully Tuesday morning at his home in Mount Ida, Ark., after a battle with cancer. He was 65. Ron joined Golfweek in 1983, and though he covered golf at all levels, his passion lied in the college and amateur games, and telling the stories of the those golfers. He had hoped to cover the NCAA Championships this spring for a 30th consecutive year.
Ron was an incredible friend to the many who knew him, and it’s nothing short of astounding to see how many lives he touched along the way. Last week, coaches and competitors at the ASU Invitational sported green ribbons in a unified display of support for Ron. He had a terrific sense of humor, and would be the first to admit his prowess with technology – computers, cell phones and the like – was limited at best. So we have to believe that Ron would have laughed loudest of all to see “Ron Balicki” as the No. 1 trend on Twitter on Tuesday night.
Truthfully, that’s how much Ron Balicki was universally loved.
Stay tuned at Golfweek.com as we pay tribute to our special friend in the days ahead. In the meantime, here is a sampling of the outpouring of love and support that was directed his way via Twitter upon his passing:
- Read our tribute to Ron Balicki (1948-2014) right here.
- PGA Tour players recall Ron Balicki's 'passion for college golf'.
• • •
Rickie Fowler, @RickieFowlerPGA: "Ron was the first and only guy I called to release the news about my decision to turn pro...he was a special man and a true friend!!"
Brandt Snedeker, @BrandtSnedeker: "RIP Ron Balicki.. You will be missed and thanks for all you did for all the young golfers across the world... Including me.."
Luke Donald, @LukeDonald: "Sad to hear about the sad loss of Ron Balicki to cancer today. Remember him well during my collegiate years. Good man"
David Duval, @david59duval: "You will be missed Wrong Ron."
Peter Uihlein, @PeterUihlein: "So sad to hear of the passing of Ron Balicki. No one loved college golf more then him and it won't be the same without him. RIP my friend"
Edward Loar, @BigEinBigD: "I used to joke with Ron & tell him I wanted his job when he retired. No one could do justice to his love for college golf. RIP my friend"
JJ Henry, @jjhenrygolf: "If u played college golf u knew Ron Balicki. A pro's pro who helped tell the stories and emotions of so many. Thx for memories"
Chris Wilson, @TheRealCWilson: "Sad to hear about the passing of Ron Balicki, just had a nice moment talking about him at the @WebDotComTour players meeting tonight."
The Ben Hogan Award, @BenHoganAward: "Our charter voting committee consisted of just 5 voters. If it had only been a 1-person committee, Ron Balicki still would've been on it."
Ball State Golf, @BallStateMGolf: "Prayers going up to @WrongRon college golf lost a great one! Fan of Ball State and Coach EY......tell him hello up there!"
Duke Men's Golf, @Duke_MGOLF: "College golf sent an icon 2 heaven! Won't be same without Golfweek's Ron Balicki out there! Sure Coach Myers will welcome him #ripwrongron"
Tim Mickelson, @goodwalkspoiled: "A sad and somber moment. RIP my friend, RIP. #collegegolfpioneer"
Roy Edwards, @RoyEdwardsCU: "Condolences to the family of Ron Balicki. Hopefully they can find comfort in knowing he affected so many lives so positively."
Matt Thurmond, @MattThurmond: "We lost a legend today in Ron Balicki. Friend to me and all connected to college/amateur golf. See you on the other side @WrongRon"
Patrick Rodgers, @PRodgersGolf: "Saddened to hear the passing of Ron Balicki. His passion for college and amateur golf was unmatched. All of us players owe a lot to that man"
Cory Whitsett, @cory_whitsett: "Devastated to hear about the loss of Ron Balicki. College golf lost one of its best, most loyal supporters today. What a great man #RIPRon"
Georgia Tech Golf, @GT_GOLF: "Saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend Ron Balicki. Nobody did more for the growth of the collegiate game. He will be missed."
Texas A&M Men's Golf, @AggieMensGolf: "Just landed in Houston & received the sad news that our dear friend Ron Balicki, writer for Golfweek, has passed away after battling cancer." . . . "Our thoughts & prayers are with his wife Debbie. Everyone in amateur & college golf will miss him. He gave all he had to help grow our game."
Texas Men's Golf, @UTexasGolf: "College golf lost a legend today in Ron Balicki (@WrongRon). RIP #WrongRon"