ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. - The St. Bonaventure University community is mourning the passing of Sam Urzetta, a 1950 graduate who died April 8 in Rochester, N.Y., at the age of 85.
Urzetta was best known for his abilities in the sports of golf and basketball. He captained the St. Bonaventure basketball team and led the nation in free throw shooting his junior season. Urzetta, who scored 556 points over his career, still holds the St. Bonaventure record for career free throw percentage at .903.
But it was in golf where Urzetta made his mark. In the summer of 1950, he captured the U.S. Amateur Championship at Minneapolis Golf Club, defeating Frank Stranahan of Toledo, Ohio, 1-up on the 39th hole in what was the longest championship match in the then 50-year history of the event.
Urzetta went on to play in four U.S. Opens, four Masters (highlighted by a tie for 12th in 1956), and four PGA championships, and he was also a member of the United States Walker Cup team on three occasions.
Urzetta spent most of his career as a PGA professional in his native Rochester, and was head professional at the Country Club of Rochester for 37 years.
In 1969, Urzetta was a member of the first induction class of the St. Bonaventure Athletics Hall of Fame.