Mr. Spray Was A 2006 Inductee of the Gateway PGA Hall of Fame
And 2009 Inductee of the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame
CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – The Gateway PGA Section announces the passing of Gateway PGA Hall of Famer Steve Spray (1940-2020), who passed away Friday, May 15th. Our thoughts are with Mr. Spray’s family at this time.
Mr. Spray was also a successful businessman, served the Gateway Section and was a friend to everyone he ever met. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, and raised in Indianola, Iowa. Mr. Spray won the 1958 Iowa Junior Amateur and in 1959, won the prestigious Western Junior at the University of Illinois golf course, defeating Dave Leon of Tucson, Arizona, 8 and 7 in the 36-hole match. He was 6-up after the morning round, with the match ending at the 29 hole.
He attended the University of Iowa briefly before transferring to Eastern New Mexico University, where he won the NAIA Individual Championship in 1962 and 1963. In 1960, he reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur – played at St. Louis Country Club -qualifying him for an invitation to the Masters in 1961.
Mr. Spray turned professional in 1964, beginning his play on the Tour in 1965. In 1969, he won the San Francisco Open Invitational, at historic Harding Park Golf Course, defeating Chi Chi Rodriguez by a stroke.
Hampered by injuries in the 1970s, he began thinking about leaving the Tour. His relationship with Deane Beman, the PGA Tour Commissioner, led to an interview at St. Louis CC, which was looking for a new head professional in late 1975.
After leaving the PGA Tour, Steve began working as the head pro at St. Louis Country Club in 1976 – a position he held for more than 30 years.
Mr. Spray held a record in the U.S. Open and a USGA record. Playing at Oak Hill in 1968, Spray posted a 65 in his fourth round, including a 30 on the first nine, a USGA record. The nine-hole score held up for twenty-seven years before it was broken. In 1973, Johnny Miller’s 63 at Oakmont broke Mr. Spray’s low fourth-round score.
He was honored as the Gateway Section’s Professional of the Year in 1984, was inducted into the Gateway PGA Hall of Fame in 2006 and in 2009 was inducted into the lowa Golf Hall of Fame.
Mr. Spray is survived by his daughter Stephanie Stiehr and son John Spray. He had six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Please visit this link for Mr. Spray’s full obituary.