UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Their golf careers were astonishing, but it was the lives of John Cook, Roger Kelly and Paul Runyan that were on display Tuesday at the Southern California Golf Association Hall of Fame Ceremony at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. Words like family, honor, character, loyalty and integrity were used to describe the three men who have been influential to golf in Southern California.
In attendance to accept his honor was 11-time PGA TOUR winner John Cook, who grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. playing SCGA and California Golf Association events. With his family and close friends present, an emotional Cook spoke to the audience of nearly 300.
"This is incredibly special," said Cook. "My mentor and close friend Ken Venturi once told his dad he was really good at golf. His dad replied, 'When you're good at something, tell people. But if you're really good at something, they'll tell you.' I want to thank the SCGA for telling me I am a really good player."While attending Miraleste High School, Cook won the California Amateur Championship his junior year in 1975, joining a list of champions that included Venturi, Gene Littler and countless other iconic California golfers. He went on to attend The Ohio State University, where he would win the U.S. Amateur in 1978 and an NCAA Team Championship in 1979. His 20-year PGA TOUR career not only included 11 professional victories, but also a Ryder Cup win. He currently plays on the Champions Tour, where he has already amassed nine more titles. "I love to win, I love to compete and I love to defeat people," said Cook. "As long as I enjoy it, I'll continue playing."