George Knudson Remains an Inspiration
(l-r) Susan Horvath, President, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation; Debra Kwinter, Director, Events, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation; David Lieberman, chair, organizing committee; and Carole Herman Zucker, vice-chair, organizing committee
Famed Canadian golfer George Knudson passed away in 1989, but his memory is still inspiring people to make a difference. On September 15, the 21st George Knudson Oakdale Pro-Am continued its fight against cancer, raising $130,000 for cancer research Mount Sinai Hospital.
“George Knudson was the best of his generation, naturally gifted and naturally talented, but people who knew him well have told me that he was always on his game, always searching to improve his knowledge,” says David Lieberman, chair of the event and vice president at the commercial property brokerage and management consulting firm Avison Young. “So it’s interesting that this tournament, as his legacy, is carrying on his tradition in so many ways, in that we’re searching for more knowledge to hopefully one day cure cancer.”
With eight victories between 1961 and 1972, George Knudson still holds the record of the Canadian with the most PGA Tour wins. His PGA career was launched thanks to support from a group of members of the Oakdale club, where Knudson was on staff from 1958. He soon gained a reputation as Canada’s ambassador of golf and is arguably the country’s greatest golfer of all time.
The George Knudson Oakdale Pro-Am was launched soon after the golfer died of lung cancer. Oakdale Golf and Country Club and the tournament have committed $1 million each to Mount Sinai Hospital and the Israel Cancer Research Fund from the proceeds of this and future Knudson tournaments.
Dr. Steven Gallinger, renowned for his work in the genetics of colon cancer, holds the Oakdale/George Knudson Research Chair in Gastrointestinal Cancer Genetics at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital.
“It’s an amazing event,” says David Lieberman. “It’s run by a great group of very dedicated people who are very much focused on fighting cancer by supporting Mount Sinai and the Israel Cancer Research Fund.”