East Amherst, NY, January 20, 2021 – Western New York PGA Professional and Hall of Fame Member Lonnie Nielsen passed away today at the age of 67 with his wife Mary Jo by his side.
Mr. Nielsen became a PGA Member in 1980 and was a member of the PGA Quarter Century Club. Lonnie graduated from the University of Iowa in 1976 with a Business Degree and played on the PGA Tour from 1978 – 1983. He was the Director of Golf at Crag Burn Golf Club in East Aurora, NY from 1984 – 2003. During this time frame Lonnie was the National PGA Player of the Year 3 times (1986, 1987, 1989). He won the New York State Open 2 times (1985, 1989) and was the NY State PGA Senior Champion in 2003. He was the dominant player in the WNYPGA Section with more than 100 victories including 11 WNYPGA Section Championships and 11 WNYPGA Match Play Championships. He was the WNYPGA Player of the Year 13 times and in 2018 the WNYPGA Player of the Year was renamed the Lonnie Nielsen Player of the Year in his honor. Lonnie played on the Champions PGA Tour from 2004 – 2012. He won 2 Championships the 2007 Commerce Bank Championship and the 2009 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
Lonnie was more than just a player and was respected by all WNYPGA Members and Associates as a mentor. He was an instructor at many section educational programs and in 1999 he was named the WNYPGA Professional of the year by his peers. Lonnie was inducted into 3 Hall of Fames: WNYPGA Hall of Fame in 2004, Iowa State Golf Hall of Fame in 2010, Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame 2018.
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