More than 150 golfers filled the tee sheet Saturday to celebrate the life and career of Tucson golfer Bobby Gaona, a former PGA Champions tour player, City Amateur and Tucson High state champion.
Included in the day’s activities at El Rio Golf Course, Gaona’s home turf, was Ed Updegraff, 90 years young, the ranking amateur golfer in Tucson and possibly Arizona history. Dozens of club pros, teaching pros and people from Tucson’s golf community also participated to help their old friend.
Gaona, 75, is afflicted by lung cancer and struggling financially.
The Tucson Conquistadores and the First Tee program, per their contract with Tucson City Golf, are awarded four days a year to have unrestricted use of El Rio with no charge. They used one of those days Saturday, helping a friend; it says a lot about their mission in Southern Arizona.