Two-Time Former Open Champ Betsy King Returns To U.S. Women’s Open
A two-time Women’s Open champ and 34-time LPGA winner who retired from the LPGA in 2005, King began practicing again to prepare for competition on the Legends Tour. The Legends Tour offers competition for women’s professionals age 45 and over.
And just as she had prepared during her decorated career, King turned up the burners once again to compete against her peers. Only this time, she put her practice into play at the United States Golf Association’s Sectional Qualifying Tournament for the Open. King posted rounds of 73-71 in the qualifying event held in Mesa, Ariz., and earned her spot in the Open field.
“I really surprised myself,” admitted King, 55, whose first tournament as a professional was the 1977 U.S. Women’s Open. “I’ve looked at other players who tried to come back and I said, ‘I’ll never do that.’ And I wasn’t planning on it. I didn’t compete in anything for four years, but I’m very happy to be here.”
And with a laugh, King also admitted that she is “already starting to get the golf nightmares” again. What kind of dreams are those?
“The one I’ve had the most often in my career is standing on the first tee and not having a backswing because there’s a tree in the way,” laughed King. “And getting lost and not being able to find the golf course. In another one, I had to play a ball out of locker in the locker room.”
King says she hopes to play well this week. She hopes to make the 36-hole cut. And if she doesn’t, she’ll see this week’s trip to the Open as a bookend to her illustrious career.
“It’s a perfect circle for me,” she said. “[The Open was] the first event I played as a professional and it will be the last event I play as a professional as part of the LPGA Tour.”
And if she wins?
“Well if I win,” added King, “I can always change my mind.”