DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., June 1, 2009 - LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Famer JoAnne Carner and PGA Tour veteran Jackie Burke, Jr., are the 2009 Honorees at the Memorial Tournament in Colombus, Ohio. They will be honored June 2, 2009, during a 3 p.m. ceremony at the 34-year-old event.
Each year, the Memorial Tournament is themed around a person(s), living or dead, who has contributed to the game of golf - the annual Honoree. The Honoree(s) is/are selected by the Captain's Club, a group of statesmen who act independently of the tournament organization, but who also advise on player invitations and the conduct of the event generally.
By earning the nod from the Captain's Club in 2009, Carner represents the eighth woman to be recognized and, along with Burke, are the 52nd and 53rd Honorees of the Memorial Tournament, which was created under the direction of golfing great Jack Nicklaus. Carner earned 43 victories on the LPGA Tour during a career that spanned five decades. Her first win came as anamateur at the 1969 Burdine's Invitational, followed by a playoff victory over LPGA Founder Marilynn Smith at the 1970 Wendell-West Open during her rookie season - the first of 10 playoff victories in 20 career LPGA playoffs.
The first Honoree was in 1976 with Robert Trent Jones, Jr. A woman was first honored in 1982 with Glenna Collett Vare, the namesake of the LPGA's Vare Trophy, which is annually awarded to the player who has the lowest season scoring average. LPGA Tour members who have been recognized to-date include: Patty Berg, 1988; Babe Zaharias, 1991; Mickey Wright, 1994; Kathy Whitworth, along with Bobby Locke, 2002; Betsy Rawls, along with Cary Middlecoff, 2005; and, most recently, Louise Suggs, along with Dow Finsterwald, 2007.