Hilton to enter hall of fame

JOHN HERBERT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

Sue Hilton had a hall-of-fame golf career and this May it becomes official when she is inducted into Ontario's hall of fame.

The London golfer, who decided against becoming a touring professional for a career as a university professor, was Canada's top amateur player during the early 1960s, capturing many major titles.

"I felt she was the best female golfer to ever come out of London,'' said Howie Cameron, a longtime member of the London golf community and member at London Hunt.

Jim Windsor, who was the head professional at Sunningdale where Hilton learned the game as a junior, said of the thousands of players he taught during about 35 years, Hilton was by far the most talented.

"She excelled in tournaments,'' Windsor said.

Her titles include the Ontario junior girls' championship in 1962 and the Ontario women's in 1962, '63 and '65. She also made her mark on the national level in 1968, when she was just 18, winning the Canadian women's closed championship, the Canadian junior girls' championship and was runner-up as Canada's female athlete of the year.

She also played in the United States women's amateur and reached the U.S. college semifinals.

Hilton was inducted into the London Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

During recent years, the 63-year-old has battled a brain tumour and is living in an assisted living residence in London.

Her induction into the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame takes place at the GAO headquarters at Wooden Sticks Golf and Country Club in Uxbridge. She will be inducted along with the late Clinton (Robbie) Robinson, a course designer responsible for building or remodeling 140 courses in Canada, the United States and South America, and the late Dick Borthwick, a member of the Canadian Professional Golfers Association for 51 years.

Hilton joins five other London golfers in the hall -- Ed Ervasti, Jack Nash, Kelly Roberts, Sandy Somerville and Warren Sye.

Hilton said a few years ago that the early 1960s were the time of her life.

"It was a fabulous time. It was wonderful what happened. Back then, they didn't use my last name in headlines -- it was just Sue.''

With no interest in a professional career, Hilton went to the University of Western Ontario for undergraduate studies and was also named UWO athlete of the year in 1965.

After Western, Hilton went on to obtain her master's degree in physical education at the University of Oregon in 1966 and PhD at the University of Minnesota.

She continued to play golf for several years, but didn't achieved the success she enjoyed earlier in her career.

Hilton taught 21 years at the University of Windsor and the University of Regina before returning to London in 1985. Four years later, she became a certified CPGA assistant pro at Highland Country Club and began teaching at golf schools.

Windsor said Hilton is deserving of the recognition.

"It's terrific. She had that certain something being able to hit the shot required when it really counted. She played in the same era as Sandra Post. As a matter of fact, Sandra won the Ontario Amateur at Sunningdale on the 37th hole (it was match play then) and Sandra turned pro that fall. Sue really had the credentials as a great player. I'm sure she's thrilled.''

"It was a fabulous time. It was wonderful what happened. Back then, they didn't use my last name in headlines -- it was just Sue.''

With no interest in a professional career, Hilton went to the University of Western Ontario for undergraduate studies and was also named UWO athlete of the year in 1965.

After Western, Hilton went on to obtain her master's degree in physical education at the University of Oregon in 1966 and a PhD at the University of Minnesota.

She continued to play golf for years, but didn't achieve the success she enjoyed earlier in her career.

Hilton taught 21 years at the University of Windsor and the University of Regina before returning to London in 1985.

Four years later, she became a certified CPGA assistant pro at Highland Country Club and began teaching at golf schools.

Windsor said Hilton deserves the recognition.

"It's terrific. She had that certain something being able to hit the shot required when it really counted.

"She played in the same era as Sandra Post. As a matter of fact, Sandra won the Ontario Amateur at Sunningdale on the 37th hole (it was match play then) and Sandra turned pro that fall.

"Sue really had the credentials as a great player. I'm sure she's thrilled.''


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