LPGA History: The 1970s

1970

LPGA players competed in 21 events with a total purse of $435,040.

JoAnne Carner (right) joined the LPGA at the age of 30 and was named LPGA Rookie of the Year. She posted one win and eight top-ten finishes.

Shirley Englehorn won four tournaments in 30 days and strangely never won again.

Donna Caponi won her second consecutive U.S. Women's Open.

Jane Blalock won the Atlanta Lady Carling Open, the first of her 27 LPGA tournament victories.
 
1971

Sandra Haynie won three straight tournaments.

Joanne Carner won her first U.S. Open. She won eight USGA titles in her golf career, including the 1956 U.S. Girls Junior, the 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966 and 1968 U.S. Women's Amateurs, and the 1971 and 1976 U.S. Women's Opens. She is the only player in history to win all three championships.

Kathy Whitworth (right) swept the honors. She won the money title, the Vare Trophy, Player of the Year and led the tour with the most wins with five.
 
1972

Two LPGA Hall of Fame members captured their last career victories in 1972. LPGA Founder Marlene Hagge (right) won the Burdine's Invitational, the last of her 25 wins, while Betsy Rawls won the GAC Classic, the last of her 55 wins.

Jo Ann Prentice defeated Sandra Palmer and Kathy Whitworth at the Corpus Christie Invitational Open in the longest playoff in LPGA history - 10 holes.

Kathy Whitworth won her seventh Vare Trophy, an all-time LPGA record. She won the Vare from 1965-1967 and 1969-1972. She also tied Jane Blalock for the most wins with five.
 
1973

Mickey Wright (right) won the Colgate-Dinah Shore Women's Circle, the final of her 82 victories.

Mary Mills won the LPGA Championship, her third LPGA major.

Susie Maxwell Berning won her second straight U.S. Women's Open at the Country Club of Rochester.
 
1974

Sandra Haynie (right) won both the LPGA Championship and the U.S.Women's Open.

Kathy Whitworth won the Orange Blossom Classic for the fifth time, tying an all-time record for most wins at a single event.

JoAnne Carner took the money list title, the Player of the Year, the Vare Trophy and tied for the most victories of the season with Sandra Haynie with six.
 
1975

Sandra Palmer won the money title and the Player of the Year.

Amy Alcott (right) won the first of her 29 LPGA victories at the age of 19. She won the Orange Blossom Classic in only her third start as an LPGA member.

Sandra Haynie won her third straight Charity Golf Classic.

LPGA hired its first Commissioner in Ray Volpe.
 
1976

Jan Stephensen and Pat Bradley both secured their first LPGA victories. Bradley won the Girl Talk Classic, while Stephensen won the Sarah Coventry-Naples Classic.

Judy Rankin (right) became the first player in LPGA history to reach $100,000 in earnings in a single season. Rankin led the tour in wins with six, topped the money list, and took the Vare Trophy and Player of the Year Award.

Joanne Carner won her second U.S. Women's Open.

Donna Caponi won three straight tournaments.
 
1977

Chako Higuchi became the first player from Japan to win an LPGA major, the LPGA Championship. To date, she remains the only Japanese player to have won an LPGA major championship.

Hollis Stacy (right) won the first of her three U.S. Women's Opens at Hazeltine National Golf Club. She is one of only four players to have won three or more U.S. Opens.

Judy Rankin led the money list, won both the Vare Trophy and Player of the Year and tied Debbie Austin for the most wins with five.
 
1978

Nancy Lopez (right) was a rookie and won nine times. She won five consecutive tournaments in which she played, setting an all-time record, later tied by Annika Sorenstam. She was both the Player of the Year and the Rookie of the Year. She led the money title and captured the Vare Trophy. Her scoring average of 71.76 was a new record low.

Hollis Stacy won her second consecutive U.S.Women's Open at the country Club of Indianapolis.

Michiko Okado became the first player to win an LPGA event as a non-member. She won the 1978 Mizuno Japan Classic.
 
1979

The LPGA players competed for $4,400,000 in total prize money over 38 events.

Jerilyn Britz finished second at the LPGA Championship; behind Donna Caponi and won the U.S. Women's Open at Brooklawn Country Club.

LPGA Founder and Hall of Fame member Louise Suggs (right) was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Nancy Lopez won eight times, led the money list and won both the Player of the Year and the Vare Trophy. She broke her own scoring record, averaging 71.20 strokes per round. She also became the youngest player to reach 10 wins at 22 years, two months and five days, a record that stands today.
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