El Paso legend Greg Ramsey stars in golf meet
By Ray Sanchez
One of the most intriguing golf tournaments held each year in El Paso is the “Los Coyotes Viejos” meet hosted by Bill Ikard at Santa Teresa Country Club. For many years senior golfers from all over the world, most of them members of the American Seniors Golf Association and/or the International Seniors Golf Association, have been getting together for some golf and fun times. They’ve held tournaments all over Europe, the Far East, Africa and, of course, the United States. Ikard’s tournament this year drew golfers from as far away as Japan, Israel and Mexico City and from one end of the United States (Boston) to the other (Los Angeles). There were 30 two-man teams in all.
MAKING THE tournament even more intriguing this year is that one of the two stars of the tournament was an El Paso legend, Greg Ramsey.
Ramsey and his partner, Ab Miller of Boise, Idaho, compiled the best record in regular match play then won their flight.
Ramsey goes back to the golden era of amateur golf in El Paso. That was in the late 1940s after World War II and into the 1960s. That era included such amateur giants as Frank Redman, the Harden brothers, Manny Martinez, Henry Boyd and many others. Ramsey gave them all a battle.
Before the war, Ramsey was a member of the UTEP (then Texas College of Mines) basketball team that won the Border Conference championship in 1940-41.
BUT THERE’S more to the Greg Ramsey legend than sports. A graduate of Austin High School and UTEP, he majored in engineering and became head of Ramsey Steel, which provided material that helped build many of El Paso’s finest buildings.
Now 87 years old, he still plays a fine brand of golf as evidenced by his super performance in the Los Coyotes meet. It was good to see this outstanding El Pasoan back in the spotlight.
TRIVIA question: Who is the only pitcher to win more than 200 games in each league? Answer at end.
RAMON ORONA, a teammate of the late Dr.. Jose “Pepe” Palafox, who led El Paso High to the Texas state basketball championship in 1947 and Tyler Junior College to the national junior college title in 1949, called to offer his condolences and offer some of his memories. He said:
“Pepe was a complete basketball player. He was a great rebounder, a great scorer and a great passer. Many people may not know this but he was also a great believer in sportsmanship. If we needed the points he would take over the game and score but he wouldn’t let us feed him the ball otherwise. He would tell us that there was no honor in scoring against a weak opponent.”
Dr. Palafox passed away on Sept. 25.
LARRY CORDERO was both beaming and frowning when I saw him in the clubhouse at Santa Teresa recently. He shot a hole-in-one on the most difficult par three hole of both courses there, the162-yard No. 12 on the Yucca Course. It’s surrounded by sand traps, has some horrible slopes on the green and it’s difficult to get on the green from the tee, much less get a hole-in-one.
Nevertheless Cordero aced it last week for the third time with a 31degree hybrid club.
“I wonder,” he said, figuratively scratching his head, “why I can get three holes-in-one there but none on the Spanish Dagger course.” The par threes on the Dagger course are much shorter and much more accessible.
All I could tell him was, “That’s golf.”
ANSWER to trivia question: Cy Young.
Veteran sports journalist and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column. Contact him at (915) 584-0626, by e-mail at email@example.com or online at www.raysanchezbooks.com