Ninth class inducted into edifice, which pays tribute to golf in the Lone Star State
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Oct. 18, 2018) – Chad Campbell and Billy Ray Brown were born and raised in Texas, forged successful golf careers that mirrored the state’s legendary players, and claimed their biggest pro victories in the Lone Star State.
It seemed fitting that they were inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in the same class. Campbell and Brown were honored along with veteran TV personality Bill Macatee, renowned instructor Bill Moretti, and Austin Country Club in a ceremony at San Antonio Country Club.
Campbell and Brown joked before the festivities about which one would cry the most during inductions.
Campbell, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, jumped out to an early lead. He was first to take the stage, and tears were in his eyes as his video introduction played.
“I didn’t think I was going to start crying until I actually started talking,” said Campbell, 44. “They did such a good job with that.
“To be inducted to the Texas Golf Hall of Fame with all the legends that have played in Texas, it’s just unbelievable. It really hit me today with the unveiling of the marker on the golf course.”
Brown, honored in the amateur category, was the final inductee to speak. Like Campbell, he had to stop several times because he was overcome with emotion.
“This is a huge honor for me,” said Brown, who still lives in his hometown of Missouri City. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about. I love Texas and I love the game of golf, which has given me so many opportunities.”
Campbell, a native of Andrews, captured his first PGA Tour title at the 2003 Tour Championship at Champions Golf Club in Houston. Brown, a four-time All American at the University of Houston, posted his second Tour win at the 1992 GTE Byron Nelson Classic in Irving. To win in his home state, Brown beat future legends Ben Crenshaw, Raymond Floyd and Bruce Lietzke in a playoff.
When he got back to the locker room, fellow Texan Lietzke was waiting for him. Lietzke, a 13-time winner on the PGA Tour and 1991 TGHF inductee, succumbed to brain cancer in July.
“Bruce looked at me and said, ‘Of all the wins you have, you will cherish this one more than any other because it came in Texas.’ I never really understood it until he passed away and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I love this state and I’m honored to be here.”
The 2018 class followed long paths to reach the prestigious Texas Golf Walk of Fame at historic Brackenridge Park Golf Course, where their names were etched on a granite marker. The unveiling took place before the ceremony.
Campbell relied on his self-taught swing to forge a remarkable PGA Tour career that has featured four victories, 56 top-10 finishes, and $26,578 million in earnings over 18 seasons.
Campbell paid his dues, winning his way up the ladder. Having attracted little attention from college recruiters, he proved himself in two years at Midland College, landing a scholarship to UNLV.
To make it onto golf’s brightest stage, he won 13 times on the NGA Hooters Tour. His three wins on the Buy.com Tour in 2001 earned him an automatic promotion to the PGA Tour.
With a flat swing that drew comparisons to Texas legend Ben Hogan, Campbell was among the game’s most skilled iron players his first 10 years on Tour. His 2003 Tour Championship victory capped the best his best season, which also included second place at the PGA Championship. He finished seventh on the Tour money list.
Campbell claimed his second PGA Tour victory in 2004 and went on to win the 2006 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the 2007 Viking Classic. In 2009, he posted the best start in Masters history with birdies on the first five holes and eventually finished second, losing in a three-man playoff involving Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry.
“My parents instilled the hard work and everything I needed to do all that I’ve accomplished,” Campbell said. “Now that I’ve got four kids, I realize how much effort it takes to get them where they needed to be for tournaments.”
Like Campbell, Brown worked his way up by winning. In fact, victories quickly became his calling card.
At Dulles High School, Brown’s teams claimed three state regional championships and state titles in 1980 and 1981. He made a smooth transition to college golf, claiming the NCAA Championship individual and team titles his freshman year at the University of Houston.
Brown’s achievements on the powerhouse golf program resonate loudly today. He earned NCAA All-America and All Southwest Conference accolades all four years. His Cougars won three NCAA titles, and Brown captured Southwest Conference individual crowns in 1983 and 1984.
Brown met the high expectations that followed him to the PGA Tour. He recorded three victories and 17 top-10s before his playing career was cut short by wrist surgeries.
Brown stayed in golf, forging a successful career as an on-course television reporter for ABC Sports from 1999 to 2006. In 2007, he joined the Golf Channel as an on-course reporter.
Moretti, honored in the instructor category, was an accomplished player but said his career ended because of method-oriented swing changes. He set out to help others avoid a similar fate, becoming a teaching professional in 1979.
The St. Louis native studied many of the master instructors, including Texas legend Harvey Penick. When he wasn’t researching technical material about the swing, he was writing about the subject. His vast knowledge of the swing can be found in his seven books, five teaching manuals and more than 50 articles published in golf magazines.
He began his instruction career at Lockhaven Country Club, then went on to the David Leadbetter Golf Studio (1983-1986) and to his current position at the Academy of Golf in Austin. He also teaches at the Austin Golf Club.
Moretti has been a Top 100 Golf magazine teacher since its inception. He has been honored as Southern Texas PGA Teacher of the Year (nominated 11 times) and Chapter Teacher of the Year.
Although well known for pro tour clients like Fred Funk, Tom Purtzer and Harrison Frazar, among many others, Moretti has focused on individual lessons and junior golfers since 2009, donating his time for half those lessons.
“I’m very blessed,” Moretti said. “I owe a lot to the students I worked with that had unique swings,” Moretti said. “I had to find unique ways to help them. That helped me a lot as an instructor.”
Macatee, honored in the lifetime achievement category, has been a major force in the golf world for some 30 years as national television golf broadcaster.
The El Paso native has worked 28 Masters, 20 PGA Championships, and every Ryder Cup from 1991 to 2006. He has also served as lead announcer of PGA Tour events such as the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Valero Texas Open on CBS.
For 20 years he has covered the 14th hole at the Masters, as well as provided insightful interviews for CBS with players such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. Over the last 18 years, one of his roles for CBS at the PGA Championship has been interviewing and presenting the Wanamaker Trophy to the winner.
Through his television company, Macatee has created, hosted and produced 12 golf-themed documentaries airing on CBS. All were produced in Texas.
Macatee has been inducted into the El Paso Sports Hall of Fame and sponsors the Sonya and William Macatee Scholarships for the Boys & Girls Club of Dallas.
Macatee reflected on how golf forged a strong bond with his father, who passed away three weeks ago. Both loved Palmer, so when Macatee was interviewing Palmer for a project, he told the golf legend that he was his father’s hero. Palmer told Macatee to call him, so he did, and handed the phone to Palmer.
When the lengthy conversation ended, Macatee talked to his dad. “I said, ‘Dad, isn’t that incredible? Can you believe it? He said, ‘Yeah, that was great. Who was that?’”
Austin Country Club, which will be added to the Texas Registry of Historic Golf Courses, has followed a constant philosophy through its many changes over the last century.
In its 119-year existence, the club has had only three instructors: Legendary Harvey Penick spent 73 of his 91 years at ACC, then was succeeded by his son, Tinsley, and then Dale Morgan.
The club moved to its third, and current, site in 1984. The challenging course on the south bank of the Colorado River (Lake Austin) has hosted the WGC Match Play Championship for the past three years.
Austin Country Club’s previous location was in east Austin – now Riverside Golf Course – adjacent to the Riverside campus of Austin Community College. This is where major champions Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite were coached by Penick. Kite was in the crowd on Monday, cheering for the club he has supported for so long.
Austin Country Club’s rich history features 79 Harvey Penick Invitationals dating back to 1935, seven Morris Williams (University Of Texas) Intercollegiate events, five Texas State Amateurs, and the 2010 Texas State Mid-Amateur.
The current layout ranked No. 4 on Golf Digest’s list of Best Remodels, and has been consistently ranked by the Dallas Morning News and Golf Digest.
This was the Texas Golf Hall of Fame’s ninth class to be inducted since the Hall’s reconstitution in 2009. Public nominations made online were voted on by living Hall members, the Texas Golf Hall of Fame Board of Directors, and designated Texas golf media members.