Rod Funseth '51
Rod Funseth won the Washington State high school golf tournament for North Central in 1949, 1950, and 1951. After attending Idaho State University, he turned professional in 1956. Rod went on to win the Spokane city golf championship and then set his sights on the professional golf tour. Playing full-time on the PGA circuit from 1963-1979, Rod won the Phoenix Open in 1965, the Los Angeles Open in 1973, and the Greater Hartford Open in 1978. He tied for second place in the 1978 Masters Tournament.
At the age of 50, Rod had his best year when he made his debut on the PGA Seniors tour in 1983. Winning both the Legends of Golf and Hall of Fame tournaments, he collected more than $120,000 in prize money for the year. He finished second in the U.S. Senior Open in 1983.
At the time, Rod said, “The Seniors tour is much more relaxing. You feel you are competitive with these players. And when you think you have a chance to win every time you step on the first tee, you tend to play better.”
This phase of his career was cut short, however, when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In 1985 Rod Funseth died at the age of 52 at his home by the 12th hole of the Silverado Country Club in Napa, California. He was inducted posthumously into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.