18 Holes at RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup to be Named After LPGA Founders, LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame Members
PHOENIX, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 – The fans have voted and the individual 18 holes at the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, home of the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, will be named for the original 13 LPGA Founders and five LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame members during the tournament. The five Hall of Fame members were chosen by fan votes on www.LPGA.com.
Holes one and 7-18 will be named after LPGA Founders, while holes 2-6 will be named after Hall of Fame members: Nancy Lopez; Juli Inkster; Annika Sorenstam; Mickey Wright and Kathy Whitworth.
Hole 1: Patty Berg*
Hole 2: Nancy Lopez
Hole 3: Juli Inkster
Hole 4: Annika Sorenstam
Hole 5: Mickey Wright
Hole 6: Kathy Whitworth
Hole 7: Alice Bauer*
Hole 8: Helen Hicks*
Hole 9: Marilynn Smith*
Hole 10: Shirley Spork*
Hole 11: Opal Hill*
Hole 12: Sally Sessions*
Hole 13: Helen Dettweitter*
Hole 14: Betty Dannoff*
Hole 15: Betty Jameson*
Hole 16: Marlene Hagge*
Hole 17: Babe Zaharias*
Hole 18: Louise Suggs*
*Indicates LPGA Founder
LPGA Founder and/or LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame Member Bios
Alice Bauer turned professional in 1950. Her career-best LPGA finish was a second at the 1955 Heart of America Tournament when she lost to fellow LPGA Founder Marilynn Smith in a playoff. Her best year on Tour was 1956, when she finished 14th on the LPGA Official money list. Bauer was sister to LPGA Founder Marlene Bauer Hagge and she was one of the first LPGA players, along with Founder Bettye Danoff, to travel the Tour with her children
Patty Berg, LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member, amassed 60 career LPGA Tour victories, including an astounding 15 major championships – more than any other player in LPGA Tour history. Berg was one of the first players to land an endorsement contract, representing Wilson Sporting Goods from the time she turned professional in 1940 until the year of her death in 2006. Berg led the LPGA money list three times and claimed three Vare Trophies. In 1955, she became the first LPGA player to achieve both honors in the same year. In 1978, to recognize and honor Berg’s diplomacy, sportsmanship, goodwill and contributions to the game, the LPGA established the Patty Berg Award for outstanding contributions to women's golf.
Bettye Danoff turned professional in 1949, after a tremendous amateur career in Texas. While Danoff never won an LPGA event, she competed in seven U.S. Women’s Opens, finishing in the top 30 six times. Danoff, who was one of the first players to travel the LPGA Tour with her children, retired from full-time play at the age of 38 to care for her two children after the passing of her husband. Danoff was also the first LPGA Tour player to become a grandmother.
Helen Dettweiler won the 1939 Western Open as an amateur and became the first recipient of the LPGA Teacher of the Year Award in 1958. Before joining the LPGA, Dettweiler became the first female baseball broadcaster when she called play-by-play for the Washington Senators. She was also the first woman to design and build a golf course – a nine-hole track in Indio, California, which today is part of the Indian Palm Country Club. Dettweiller served in World War II as a member of the WASPs. Chosen as one of 17 women to fly B-17 bomber, Dettweiler also served as a cryptographer, eventually responsible for training decoders across the United States.
Marlene Bauer Hagge joined the LPGA Tour at the age of 16. She captured her first LPGA victory at the 1952 Sarasota Open, becoming the youngest player in LPGA history to win a tournament. In her career, Hagge amassed 26 LPGA Tour victories, including one major championship – the 1956 LPGA Championship. That same year, Hagge led the LPGA money list, recorded eight wins and nine runner-up finishes. Hagge was elected to the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame on the veterans’ ballot in 2002.
Helen Hicks, recognized to be one of the first female professional golfers in the United States, turned professional in 1932. She was the first female professional to land an endorsement contract with an equipment company when she was hired by Wilson Sporting Goods to travel promoting golf equipments and giving clinics. Hicks became the first professional to capture the Women’s Western Open in 1937, and later won the 1940 Titleholders. As an amateur, Hicks won the 1931 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Opal Hill took up the game of golf at the age of 31 after her doctor recommended light exercise to help with chronic medical problems. Once introduced to the game, Hill was hooked. She had an impressive amateur career which included three Western Amateur titles (1929, 1931-1932), three Trans-Mississippi victories (1928-1929, 1931), one North and South Amateur Championship (1928), three Missouri State Championships (1935-1937) and two Western Women’s Opens (1935-1936). Hill served as the 1935 Chairman of the USGA Women’s Committee.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Betty Jameson captured 13 LPGA tournament titles, including three major championships. As an amateur, Jameson won the 1939 and 1940 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships and, in 1942, became the first player to win both the Women’s Western Amateur and Women’s Western Open in the same season. Jameson conceived the idea of annually honoring the LPGA player with the lowest scoring average and donated the trophy that became the Vare Trophy.
Sally Sessions turned professional in 1948. Although she never won an LPGA event, Sessions finished fifth in the 1949 Tam O’Shanter All-American and tied for 10th at the 1948 U.S. Women’s Open won by Babe Zaharias. She also served as the first secretary of the LPGA. As an amateur Sessions finished runner-up to Betty Jameson the 1947 U.S. Women's Open. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Sessions won the 1941 Michigan Jr. Golf Championship and the 1946 Michigan State Women’s Amateur.
World Golf Hall of Fame member Marilynn Smith captured 21 career LPGA victories, including two major championships. While serving as the President of the LPGA from 1958-1960, Smith was instrumental in forming the LPGA teaching division. She was the first female television commentator for a men’s golf tournament (1973 U.S. Open and the Colonial In 1979), and she also earned the honor of becoming the first recipient of the Patty Berg Award in 1979 for distinguished service to women’s golf. Today, Smith hosts the annual Marilynn Smith LPGA Charity Classic to raise money for college-bound female golfers.
Shirley Spork, well-known for her role as an LPGA Founder, is also widely known for her exceptional teaching ability. Spork, who won the 1959 and 1984 LPGA National Teacher of the Year Awards, the only LPGA member, besides Dr. DeDe Owens, to win the prestigious award twice, was one of the six inaugural inductees into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame in 2000. Spork also served as the chairman of the LPGA teaching division for six consecutive years, beginning in 1960. As a player, Spork’s career-best LPGA finish was a second at the 1962 LPGA Championship.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Louise Suggs amassed 58 career LPGA Tour wins, including 11 major championships. She became the first player in LPGA history to complete the Career Grand Slam when she won the 1957 LPGA Championship. Suggs twice led the LPGA money list (1953, 1960) and once captured the Vare Trophy (1957). In 1961, Suggs won the Dallas Civitan Open becoming the first LPGA player to win the same tournament in three consecutive years. The LPGA honored Suggs in 2000, with the creation of the Louise Suggs Trophy, presented annually to the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year. That same year, Suggs was named to the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame and given the Patty Berg Award.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Babe Zaharias captured 41 career titles, including 10 major championships. In the first year of the LPGA Tour, Zaharias swept all three major championships. Not including the 10 tournaments Zaharias won prior to the formation of the LPGA, Zaharias became the fastest player to reach 10 wins – a record she still holds today. She also holds the records for the fastest player to reach 20 wins and the fastest player to reach 30 wins. Zaharias won the Vare Trophy in 1954, the year after undergoing cancer surgery. That same year, she became the first-ever recipient of the Ben Hogan Award. Zaharias was the first female player to compete in a PGA Tour event, making three consecutive PGA Tour cuts with a personal-best finish 33rd at the 1945 Phoenix Open.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Mickey Wright captured 82 career LPGA titles, including 13 major championships. Wright is the only LPGA player to have held all four major championship trophies at the same time – 1961 U.S. Women’s Open, 1961 LPGA Championship, 1962 Titleholders, 1962 Western Open. She won five consecutive Vare Trophies from 1960-1964 and won a remarkable 43 events from 1961-1964. Wright holds multiple LPGA Tour records including the youngest player to reach 30, 40 and 50 wins, the fastest player to reach 40 and 50 wins and the most wins in a single season with 13.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Kathy Whitworth holds the LPGA record for the most tournament victories with 88 which includes six major championship titles. In her career she captured seven Player of the Year awards, seven Vare Trophies and she led the LPGA money list eight times. She holds the LPGA record for the most consecutive seasons with a victory with 17 and the record for the most seasons with a victory with 22. Whitworth captained two U.S. Solheim Cup teams.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Nancy Lopez won 48 career LPGA tournaments, including three major championships. She shares the LPGA record for the most consecutive wins in tournaments participated with five and holds the records for the youngest player to reach 10 and 20 wins. Lopez was named the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year in 1979 when she won nine times. She captured Rolex Player of the Year honors four times and won four Vare Trophies.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Juli Inkster has won 31 LPGA tournaments, including seven major championships. Inkster is one of only six players to have achieved the career Grand Slam. She was the 1984 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year and the recipient of the prestigious Patty Berg Award in 2009. Inkster has participated in eight Solheim Cup competitions with an overall record of 15-10-6 and a remarkable 6-1-1 singles record.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Annika Sorenstam captured 73 career LPGA victories, including 10 major championships. Sorenstam won the Rolex Player of the Year award eight times, earned six Vare Trophies and was named the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year in 1994. Sorenstam holds multiple LPGA all-time scoring records including the only 59 shot by a female in the game of golf. She holds the record for the most consecutive wins at the same tournament with five. Sorenstam played on the European Solheim Cup team eight times with an overall record of 22-11-4.