Widely considered the best amateur in golfing history after Bobby Jones, Turnesa came to Holy Cross from Elmsford, N.Y. A member of the Turnesa golfing family, his six brothers (who all played the game as professionals) urged him not to turn pro, and instead pooled their money to get him a college education.
In his three years at Holy Cross,
he emerged as one of the best amateurs in the country. He won
the New England Intercollegiate Championship three times, and in
those same years he led HC to the New England Championship.
He also was an NCAA medalist twice. As a student, he also won
the Westchester Amateur Tournament twice and the Metropolitan
Just a few months after graduating, he won the 1938 United States Amateur Championship, and repeated that feat 10 years later. He also bested the field for the 1947 British Amateur, was a member of three winning Walker Cup teams, and captained the squad in 1951.
In the mid 1950's he co-founded the Westchester Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Fund, which has awarded millions of dollars to college students. He passed away in 2001.