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Harry Easterly Jr., 82, head of USGA

RICHMOND, Va. -- Harry Watkey Easterly Jr., former president of the US Golf Association who also served as executive director, has died. He was 82.

Mr. Easterly died Thursday of cancer, the Virginia State Golf Association said in a statement.

After serving as president of the Virginia State Golf Association from 1965-66, Mr. Easterly became an executive committee member for the USGA in 1968 and served as president for two years, 1976-77. He was known for his attention to the rules of the game.

''He was a great friend of mine for 30 years and his contributions to Virginia golf and the USGA will be remembered for a long time," said the USGA president, Fred Ridley.

''His is a strong legacy, and we will miss him a great deal."

Ridley said he met Mr. Easterly at the 1975 US Amateur, played on Mr. Easterly's home course, the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond.

Mr. Easterly oversaw the course setup.

''We talked a lot about the difficulty of the course setup this week at Pinehurst [for the US Open] and other Opens," Ridley said Friday at the US Open.

''But I have to say that how Harry set up the Country Club of Virginia, with 5-inch Bermuda rough, remains the toughest, thickest USGA championship setup I've ever seen."

Mr. Easterly, a World War II veteran, was runner-up in the 1956 Virginia State Amateur. He was appointed senior executive director of the USGA in December 1980 and served through January 1984.

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