Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Judy Bell applauds Diana Murphy’s nomination as USGA president

                                        DIANA MURPHY ... "She will be terrific," says Judy Bell
Judy Bell says she often gets asked why she’s the only female to have served as president of the U.S. Golf Association.
“That question is going to go away, which is going to be neat,” Bell said by phone Monday.
The USGA announced Monday the nomination of vice-president Diana Murphy to serve a one-year term as the 64th president of the association. If elected in February, Murphy, of St. Simons Island, Georgia, would follow in the footsteps of Bell, who held the position in 1996-97.
But Bell said she isn’t surprised it has taken two decades for another female to ascend to the USGA’s top spot.
“The wheel turns slowly,” Bell said. “To get the right person is important, and she certainly is. You’ve read her resume, haven’t you?”
Murphy, 59, has been formally associated with the USGA since 1996. She is in her fifth year as a member of the USGA Executive Committee. She chairs the championship and compensation committees and serves on the audit and corporate partners committees.
Professionally, Murphy is the managing director of a private-equity firm focused on small business and real estate in the south-east of America. She also is managing director of the Georgia Research Alliance Venture Fund, which supports the state’s public and private research universities. She had been a senior vice president of The Baltimore Sun Co. for 15 years.
Murphy’s nomination follows the election of Suzy Whaley to the PGA of America’s board of directors, which puts her in line to become the PGA's first female president. In recent years, women have been admitted as members at Augusta National Golf Club and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
“It’s progress,” Bell said. “We’re golfers too and we love the game, so it’s very appropriate.”
Of Murphy, Bell said, “She’ll be terrific. She’ll be perhaps the best USGA president ever.”
Even better than Murphy's husband, Reg, who served as president in 1995?
“Well, I learned a lot from Reg. I served as vice president under him, but she has a good chance to be one of the best presidents we’ve ever had.”
The election of officers and the 15-member USGA Executive Committee will take place February 6, 2016, at the USGA’s annual meeting at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.