Sioux City | Inducted 2008 | Category: Amateur Golfer
As a resident of Sioux City, Rudy Knepper blazed a national golfing trail. When he was inducted into the Des Moines Sunday Register Sports Hall of Fame in 1951, Bert McGrane wrote that Knepper “made deeper inroads into national competition than any other player the state has produced.” It all started in Iowa, where Knepper won three consecutive Iowa Amateur titles starting in 1920. He also won the 1922 Trans-Mississippi championship and was a runner-up to Chick Evans in the finals of the 1921 Western Amateur.
Knepper, who played collegiate golf at Princeton University, qualified for the U.S. Amateur eight times in one 10-year stretch, reaching the semifinals in 1922, and the quarterfinals three times. One of Knepper’s victims in his march to the semifinals in 1922 was Francis Ouimet. Knepper lost to 1916 U.S. Open champion Chick Evans in the semifinals. Knepper also had several matches against the great Bobby Jones, losing to Jones in the 1919 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont and again in 1924 at Merion. Other accomplishments include Knepper’s appearance in the 1934 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, and an invitation to be a part of the 1923 Walker Cup team. Knepper, however, was not allowed to participate in the tournament because Princeton said it would take to much time away from his studies. Bobby Jones also suffered the same fate as Harvard gave the same reason for not letting Jones attend the tournament.
1920-22 3-time Iowa Amateur Champion
1922 Won the Trans-Mississippi Championship
1921 Runner Up in the Western Amateur
1951 Inducted into Des Moines Register Sports Hall of Fame
– Played Collegiate Golf at Princeton
– Was invited to the 1923 Walker Cup but Princeton refused to let him go because it would take away to much time from his studies
– Qualified for the U.S. Amateur numerous times, reaching the semifinals in 1922 and the quarterfinals 3 times.
– Defeated Francis Ouimet in 1922 U.S. Amateur, only to lose to U.S. Open Champion Chick Evans in the Semifinals.
– Faced Bobby Jones twice, once in the 1919 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont and again in 1924 at Merion.
– Appeared in the 1934 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club