Cowan made eight different appearances in the Masters at Augusta, Ga., he was a two-time U.S. Amateur champion (1966 in Philadelphia, 1971 in Wilmington, Dela.), and won the Canadian Amateur crown in 1961. "As I went along in my career, I progressed"’ Cowan said in an interview. "I can’t say there was one highlight of my career. To win the U.S. Amateur once was great but to do it twice is pretty special. In 1971, I trickled a shot on the 72nd hole for an eagle to win by three strokes. When I won the Canadian Amateur in '61, it was rewarding because I had finished runner-up in 1959 and 1960."
What does he remember about the 1964 Masters when he was the low amateur?
"I shot 291 – 71, 77, 72, 71," he recalled. "Arnold Palmer won the Masters that year and him and I were in the presentation ceremony together. That was kind of neat but other than that, it’s hard to remember. It’s so long ago. I made the Masters cut one other time."
Cowan represented Canada internationally 19 times and captured nine Ontario Amateur titles, beginning in 1964 and ending 20 years later. A phenomenal golfer. A true amateur, he obviously didn’t make that much money doing what he loved, so he had a full-time job as a sales rep with Neutral Life Insurance (taken over by Sun Life) from 1963-1990. Sun Life has honoured Gary tonight by purchasing a table.
Cowan was a member of the Rockway Golf Club in Kitchener from 1952-63 and since then, his hideout has been the Westmount Golf and Country Club, which is rated among the top 50 golf courses in Ontario.