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Bill Gabal

Golf ∙ Baden

 

 

 

 

Bill Gabal has the distinction of being Beaver County’s most successful professional golfer, even though he never spent full time on the sport. Rather than starve on the golf circuit, he worked for many years at the Ambridge Works of the Armco Steel Corporation. He remained active in the sport and in 1987 tied for second in the Golden State Senior Open at Lompoc, California. Amazingly, Bill was largely a self taught golfer. As a caddy at the Ambridge Country Club in this youth, he studied the style of golfers, then practiced endlessly on his own at Ambridge Boro Park until he mastered the fine points of the game. Bill's first real taste of victory came in 1950 when he won the Ambridge Country Clun Caddie title, and later that year he captured the Ambridge Jaycees Golf Tournament championship and his career was well underway. Those two key victories came while he was still a junior at Ambridge High School. The following year he won the WPIAL golf title and placed fourth in the PIAA state tournament. Bill continued his amateur career until 1961, when he turned pro at age 27. In both 1963 and 1964 he competed in the US Open golf tournament, finishing in the money both times. He gained valuable experience playing against such greats as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player. After being hampered by an injury for several years, Bill competed in the 1969 Canadian Open and won the United Steelworkers of America golf tournament. In his long career, Bill reached the qualifying round of the National Open 12 times, set seven course records, and sunk three holes in one.