Byline: Bill Doyle
Worcester native Paul Harney will be one of seven members of the second class of inductees into the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame.
When the Massachusetts Golf Association opened the William F. Connell Golf House & Museum in Norton in 2002, the inaugural class of Francis Ouimet, Donald Rose, Pat Bradley and Fred Corcoran was inducted into the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame. Twelve years later, the MGA planned to announce the second class of inductees on Thursday.
Harney, who died at age 82 in 2011, will be inducted along with Margaret and Harriot Curtis, Ted Bishop, Joanne Goodwin, Bob Toski and Fred Wright.
"I am just so proud,'' said Harney's daughter, Erin Abbott, "and honored that he's getting such an award. It's wonderful he's being inducted into the MGA Hall of Fame. I always said he was a great golfer, but a better man. He would be happy.''
Harney was born in Worcester on a street that runs parallel to the entrance of Tatnuck CC and starred in golf at Holy Cross. Harney played on the PGA Tour full-time from 1955-62, but fulfilled a promise to his wife, Patti, that he would leave the Tour when their oldest child started school.
After working as a club pro for two years in California, he became head pro at Pleasant Valley CC. Despite playing only a limited schedule on the PGA Tour while he worked as a club pro, he managed to win the L.A. Open in 1964 and 1965 and the Andy Williams-San Diego Open in 1972.
Harney would sharpen his game by hitting balls into a net in the garage at his Holden home for a couple of months, then play on the PGA Tour for the first few months of the year before PV opened.
Some golf historians have credited Harney with winning seven PGA Tour events, including the 1958 Dorado Beach Invitational in Puerto Rico. Others don't include that event. Harney also lost four playoffs, three of them to Arnold Palmer. His par putt on the final hole of the 1963 U.S. Open at The Country...