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Betsy Rawls

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Betsy Rawls

Betsy Rawls won 55 LPGA tournaments, including eight major championships.

Pictorial Parade/Getty Images

Betsy Rawls was one of the most prolific winners on the early LPGA Tour, in the 1950s and 1960s, and won eight major championships in women's golf.

Date of birth: May 4, 1928
Place of birth: Spartanburg, South Carolina

Tour Victories:

55

Major Championships:

8
• LPGA Championship: 1959, 1969
• U.S. Women's Open: 1951, 1953, 1957, 1960
• Western Open: 1952, 1959

Awards and Honors:

• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• Vare Trophy (low scoring average), 1959
• LPGA money leader, 1952, 1959
• Recipient, USGA Bob Jones Award, 1996
• Recipient, LPGA Patty Berg Award, 1980
• Member, Texas Golf Hall of Fame

Quote, Unquote:

• Betsy Rawls: "There's no feeling like winning a golf tournament ... you can't get that feeling anywhere else."

• Betsy Rawls: "I thought I was going to be a winner, and as I went along, winning became easier and easier. It was something I expected to do."

Trivia:

When Rawls won the U.S. Women's Open in 1960, she became the first person to win that tournament four times.

Betsy Rawls Biography:

Betsy Rawls didn't even start playing golf until she was 17 years old. But just seven years later, she was one of the top players on the fledgling LPGA Tour and a winner of the U.S. Women's Open.

Rawls started in the game in 1945, and progressed quickly, winning the Texas Amateur in 1949 and 1950. She attended the University of Texas where she studied math and physics and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

In 1950, Rawls, playing as an amateur, was runner-up to Babe Didrikson Zaharias at the U.S. Women's Open. The next year, after turning pro and joining the LPGA, she made the Women's Open her first professional victory.

Rawls went on to win the U.S. Women's Open three more times, the last in 1960 when she became the first 4-time winner of the event. From 1951 through 1960, Rawls led the tour in wins three times, in money twice, and in scoring once.

She won six times in 1952 and five more times in 1957. Her highest victory total was 10 in 1959, a year in which she also won her second Women's Western Open (counted as a major).

When she wasn't playing on tour, Rawls toured the country by car with Patty Berg as representatives of Wilson Sporting Goods, conducting up to 120 golf clinics a year.

Rawls won at least once every year from 1951 to 1966. Her final major was the LPGA Championship in 1969, and her last win on tour was the 1972 GAC Classic. She retired from competitive golf in 1975.

Rawls' contributions off the course were just as great. She signed the LPGA Articles of Incorporation in 1951; served as LPGA president from 1961-62; was one of six inaugural inductees into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame in 1967; spent six years as LPGA Tournament Director following the end of her playing days; was the first woman to serve on the Rules Committee for the U.S. Open; and served as executive director, and later vice-chairman, of the LPGA Championship.

The Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational is an NCAA golf tournament played in Austin, Texas, every year and hosted by the University of Texas women's golf team.

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