Another woman of significance was LPGA Tour icon Elizabeth Earle “Betsy” Rawls. A former American professional golfer, she won eight major championships and fifty-five LPGA Tour events which earned her induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Betsy began playing golf as a seventeen-year-old, winning back-to-back Texas Amateur victories in 1949 and 1950. At the same time, she won the 1949 Trans-National and the 1950 Broadmoor Invitational. She finished second place at the U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur that same year.
After attending the University of Texas, Betsy joined the LPGA Tour in 1951 and began an illustrious golf career. In 1959 she earned the LPGA Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average. She was the tour’s leading money winner in 1952 and 1959 and finished in the Top 10 on the money list a total of nine times. She served as LPGA President from 1961 to 1962 and was one of the six inaugural inductees to the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame in 1967.
After retiring from tournament play in 1975, she served as a tournament director for the LPGA Tour. In 1966 she was voted the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. She was also inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women in 2006.
Betsy is also a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in 1999 she shows no evidence of the disease in 2006. When asked to comment on the issue, she simply reported that it was a “small blip in my life.” Betsy is recognized as an athletic champion, natural leader, exemplar sportsman, and a fearless competitor. Let’s remember Betsy Rawls and her commitment to the game we love so much.
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