Four-Time NYSGA Champion Gail Purdy Brophy Passes Away

February 26, 2020

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Capital Region amateur golf legend Gail Purdy Brophy passed away on Sunday at Saratoga Hospital in Saratoga Springs at the age of 77.

She was hospitalized two weeks prior, and died of complications from a chronic lung disease called pulmonary fibrosis that she’d been battling in recent years.

Related: Gail Purdy Brophy Obituary

Brophy was regarded as one of the top female amateur golfers from the area, winning both local and statewide events over the years.

The Glens Falls native captured the NYS Women’s Amateur in 1961, becoming the youngest champion at that time, and again in 1963. She qualified for U.S. Girls’ Junior in 1956, the U.S. Women’s Open in 1960 and 1961, and the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1962 and 1963.

During her younger days, she was also known as a national talent in speedskating, winning hundreds of competitions around the northeast and captured several national and international titles. At age 16, she tried out for the first U.S. Olympic Women’s Speedskating Team, and missed by only a spot.

After her father became ill in 1963, she retired from both sports to take over his business, Purdy’s Discount Wine and Liquor. She focused on managing the store alongside her husband James Brophy (until he passed away in 1998), leaving her competitive days behind.

After a 42-year hiatus, she returned to the competitive ranks in 2006 and was the first to capture the NYS Women’s Super Senior Amateur during the inaugural tournament in 2007, and had a successful defense 2008 (she was runner-up in 2009, 2012 and 2013). 

More locally, she won both the 2012 Northeastern Women’s Golf Association (NEWGA) Senior and Super Senior championships, and defended the Super Senior in 2013. In 2015, she received NEWGA’s Golf Achievement Award, and The Gail Purdy Brophy tournament was named in her honor in 2017.

As a member of Glens Falls Country Club, she captured the club championship ten times. In recent years after her comeback, she was a member of Saratoga National and Ballston Spa Country Club.

Brophy was the first female inducted into the Glens Falls Hall of Fame in 1991, and is one of only two women inducted into the Saratoga Springs Hall of Fame, along with golf broadcaster and former LPGA star, Dottie Pepper.

She is survived by her two daughters, Mary Brophy Magnus and Kristen Greczkowski, five grandchildren, and three nieces.

A funeral service for Brophy will be held on Monday, March 2, 2020 at 11am at the William J. Burke and Sons Funeral Home in Saratoga Springs.