Robert Henry Edwin Breen
Born: August 16, 1939 (Guelph, Ontario)
Died: August 23, 2014 (Brampton, Ontario)
Guelph (Ont.) Sports Hall of Fame (2001)
Brampton (Ont.) Sports Hall of Fame (2003)
Bobby Breen was one of Canada’s top professional golfers in the late 1960s, winning three tournaments on the Canadian Tour. He also played in 10 Canadian Opens and twice qualified for the U.S. Senior Open.
On the Canadian Tour, he won the Atlantic Open in 1968, the Moncton Open in 1969 and the Dartmouth Open in 1970. A year later, he won the Bahamas BWI International Open.
He won more than 160 tournaments and pro-ams in his career, including the Ontario Senior Pro Junior Pro championship last year. Breen, aged 73, teamed with Brad Kerfoot, 33, to win the tournament by three strokes with a 13-under 58 at the Meadowbrook Golf and Country Club at Gormley, Ont. It was Breen’s fifth championship, the first two coming as a junior pro, the others after he turned 50.
Breen was the pro at the fabled Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont., from 1973 to 1981.
He had originally wanted to be a hockey player, skating for the junior-A Guelph Biltmores of the Ontario Hockey Association. He once told the Montreal sports writer Dink Carroll that he had played on a line with Rod Gilbert and Jean Ratelle, both of whom went on to star with the New York Rangers of the NHL. Breen gave up hockey for a job at a machine shop. After he was laid off, he took up golf, winning the junior championship at his local club in 1959. He turned pro the following year.