RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Harry Watkey Easterly Jr., former president of the U.S. Golf Association who also served as executive director, has died. He was 82.

Easterly died Thursday, the USGA said on its Web site Friday. No cause of death was given.

After serving as president of the Virginia State Golf Association from 1965-66, 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,” USGA president Fred Ridley said. “His is a strong legacy, and we will miss him a great deal.”

Ridley said he met Easterly at the 1975 U.S. Amateur, played on Easterly’s home course, the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond. Easterly oversaw the course setup. “We talked a lot about the difficulty of the course setup this week at Pinehurst (for the U.S. Open) and other Opens,” Ridley said Friday at the U.S. 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.”

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.

Easterly is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mary; two sons, Harry III and Frank; two daughters, Tighe Antrim and Natalie; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 4 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond. Burial will be private.

AP-ES-06-17-05 2039EDT

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