Area scene loses two of its remarkable figures--Nes and Worsham

October 28, 1990|By John W. Stewart

Last week, Kathleen Nes and Lew Worsham Jr. died within several hours of each other. One was the epitome of the English grand dame, the consummate amateur; the other was a successful professional at the national and club levels.

Nes' finest golf was played in her native England and in Europe before World War II. Among her accomplishments were winning the French Women's Amateur and Belgian Women's Amateur and reaching the semifinals of the British Ladies Amateur.

An outstanding sportswoman, proficient not only in golf, but also in tennis and skiing among other sports, Nes was known additionally for her paintings, particularly those of children and landscapes. She came to Baltimore in 1948 after her marriage to Charles Nes Jr., a local architect.

Nes made her greatest impact on local golf as a member of the Women's Golf Association. She won that organization's Seniors title twice, placed first in the 60-over division four times and won the 70-over division five times in six years, missing only the year she was sidelined with a broken wrist.

A fond memory is the year when she not only won the 70-over division, but also had a lower score than anyone in the 60-over class. Fiercely proud, she wanted to make sure it was noted that she actually won both titles.

Nes and Jeanette Meyers founded the Snowbirds, a group that played golf weekly during the winter -- as long as the temperature was above 40 degrees.

Hers was a life of another time adapted to today's living, but she never lost her grace and stature.

Worsham, 73, was a native of the Tidewater area of Virginia and a resident there in retirement, but the family home still is in Washington. Worsham had battled congestive heart failure and cancer for several years.

He turned professional in 1936 at age 19 and was an assistant at the Chevy Chase Club before getting the head position at the Burning Tree Club in 1938. He was in the Navy during World War II, and when Max Elbin returned to Burning Tree as an assistant in 1946, Worsham tossed him the keys to the shop and told him he was in charge.

Later, Worsham was hired as head pro at Oakmont CC in suburban Pittsburgh, with a flexible schedule that allowed him to play the professional tour.

He played the tour for some 10 years, winning seven tournaments, and appeared in 16 Masters tournaments. The position at Oakmont, which he held until his retirement, lasted 33 years.

Among his notable accomplishments were winning the 1947 U.S. Open (he defeated Sam Snead in a playoff), and George May's 1953 "World Championship," tournament in which he made a 100-yard wedge shot for an eagle-2 at the last hole at Tam O'Shanter CC in Chicago to beat Chandler Harper, another Tidewater section golfer, by a stroke.

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A newcomer to the area's charity golf calendar is the Children's Favorite Things, Inc., event, scheduled for Hunt Valley GC, Nov. 12. Proceeds will provide Christmas gifts and a party for some of the community's neediest cases.

This is the brainchild of Phil Bundy of Monkton, who watched children open their presents last Christmas and decided he wanted to do something for those less fortunate. A graduate of St. Paul's, where he reactivated a golf team, and the University vTC Maryland (with honors), Bundy is a master's candidate in business administration at the Maryland Business School in College Park.

Although it is a first-time program, Bundy is already receiving the solid support of individuals and organizations in the corporate field. Further information is available from him in Monkton 771-4866.

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Sally Casey of Green Spring heads the new slate of officers for the Women's Golf Association. Casey begins a two-year term as president, succeeding Jane DuBois of Maryland Golf and CC. Joining her are Midge Thursby, Woodholme, vice president; Peggy Miller, corresponding secretary; JoanKay Kent, CC Maryland, recording secretary; and Marie Driessen, Hobbit's Glen, treasurer. . . . Representatives of member clubs and public links organizations are being invited to a Maryland State Golf Association-sponsored, daylong rules seminar with Tom Meeks, the United States Golf Association's director of rules and competitions, to be held Nov. 9 at Woodholme CC.

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