Looking for Bobby Jones' Replacement
By 1932, Seattle golf enthusiasts believed Albert "Scotty" Campbell, an 18-year-old from Jefferson Park Golf Course, was an up-and-coming star and heir-apparent to the retired Bobby Jones.
Seattle Kid Shines
In 1932 Campbell won the Jefferson Park club championship; was second low amateur in the Northwest Open; went to the second round in the PNGA Men's Amateur Championship; made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and the Washington State Men's Amateur; won the Seattle City Amateur championship; and was runner-up in the King County Public Links Association championship.
But Scotty's best year was 1933, when he took a prominent place on the short list of golfers capable of replacing Bobby Jones.
At Victoria Golf Club for the 1933 PNGA Men's Amateur Championship, Campbell won medalist honors after shooting 71, 69, 140, then took home the title. The gallery was in awe of the diminutive golfing machine. Over the seven-day event, Campbell combined consistent and brilliant shot-making with veteran coolness to walk away with the crown.
On his march to the title, Scotty defeated the giant-killing Allan Taylor – son of Phil Taylor, the host professional – on the 34th hole. Prior to his match with Campbell, young Taylor had upset Chandler Egan, 3 & 1, in the quarterfinals and Doc Willing on the 37th hole in the semifinals. Taylor later said he was "burned out" after the two matches. But Campbell's putting and chipping skills were also a huge factor in Taylor's defeat. At Victoria, Campbell became the first Seattleite to win the PNGA Men's Amateur Championship since Claire Griswold in 1919.
Winning's Canada's Crown
Scotty's level of play reached new levels after the Victoria win and, the next week, he was well prepared for the Canadian Men's Amateur Championship at Shaughnessy Heights Golf Club in Vancouver. Campbell later recalled this tournament: "The best golf I played throughout the week was against Stanley Leonard, the long-driving, colorful Vancouver lad. According to what I could gather, Stanley was the local favorite to win the title and he looked every bit a champion that day we tangled. (Campbell defeated Leonard 2 & 1.)
Campbell became only the second American to win the Canadian Amateur Championship since the tournament's debut in 1895.
The Path to a Second Canadian Title
In 1934 the golf world had high expectations for Campbell. Rather than participate in the 1934 PNGA Men's Amateur, Scotty traveled to Montreal to defend his Canadian title at Sur-le-lac Golf Club. Observers believed the Westerners – namely Black and Campbell – would have a difficult time over the long and tricky Sur-le-lac course. Black lost in the semifinals, but Scotty reached the finale to play against the darling of the East, Sandy Somerville of Toronto.
All felt Campbell had no chance against the seemingly invincible Somerville, who had won six Canadian Amateur titles as well as the 1932 U.S. Amateur.
Campbell ultimately defeated Somerville. Highlights of the final included Campbell holing a shot from off the green for a birdie at the 7th hole, sinking a 30-foot snake on another hole, and finishing with a tricky 10-footer to win a thrilling match, 1-up, on the 36th hole.
Next stop for Campbell was the 1934 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at the South Park Course in Pittsburgh. The Seattleite upheld the Northwest's honor by being the medalist. Unfortunately, he lost to Arthur Anderson, a student from Hawaii, on the 36th hole in the quarterfinals of match play.
Campbell decided not to defend his Canadian Amateur, choosing instead to participate in the PNGA Men's Amateur Championship at Seattle Golf Club. Campbell and Seattle's Harry Givan fought a gallant battle in the final match, with Campbell winning on the 37th hole.
The First Public Player Named to the Walker Cup
In 1936 Campbell and Givan were named to the USGA's Walker Cup team. Campbell's selection was considered almost a shoo-in because of his two Canadian and PNGA Men's Amateur victories and his fine showing in sectional qualifying for the 1935 U.S. Amateur. Nevertheless, many tipsters felt he did not deserve consideration since he was a player of public golf courses.
Instead, Campbell became the first public player ever selected to a Walker Cup team.
Just before he passed away, following Campbell's selection to the 1935 Walker Cup Team, Chandler Egan told Alex Rose of Northwest Golfer, "As a member of the selection committee I have highly recommended that Campbell and Givan be placed on the team. To be a member of the team one must be not only a fine golfer, but must also go about playing the game in true sportsman-like manner."
The Denouement of a Fine Competitor
Scotty Campbell admitted to William Steedman of the Seattle Times in the spring of 1937 that his golfing career on the national scene was coming to a close. "I'm through traveling all over the continent. I have my future to consider and my plans do not include making professional golf my career. I will play in the PNGA and the U.S. Amateur at Alderwood because they are right next door and I can play without any great sacrifice of time from my work and studies."
Campbell was never a factor in any PNGA event after his 1935 win, though he did participate before entering the U.S. Navy in 1942. However, he won three straight Washington State Men's Amateur championships beginning in 1939.