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Fay Crocker

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Fay Crocker was a long-hitting South American who started playing international amateur events in the late 1930s, and was a winner in the early days of the LPGA Tour.

Date of birth: Aug. 2, 1914
Place of birth: Montevideo, Uruguay
Date of death: Sept. 16, 1983
Nickname: In a 2009 issue of Golf World, Louise Suggs said other LPGA players called Crocker El Toro, Spanish for "the bull." "She didn't like that very much," Suggs said.

Tour Victories:

12

Major Championships:

2
• U.S. Women's Open: 1955
• Titleholders: 1960

Trivia:

• When she won the 1955 U.S. Women's Open, Fay Crocker became the first non-American to win an LPGA major.

• When she won the 1960 Titleholders Championship at age 45 years, 7 months, 1 day, Crocker set the record - which still stands - for oldest LPGA major champion.

• Crocker was the first golfer to break 70 in a round at the U.S. Women's Open.

Fay Crocker Biography:

Fay Crocker began her LPGA Tour career relatively late in life, but made the most of her short window of opportunity.

She began golfing at age six in her native Uruguay, where her American expatriate father ran an import business. Crocker's father won the Uruguayan men's golf championship 27 times, and her mother won both the Uruguayan women's golf and tennis championships.

Fay followed in those footsteps, herself winning the women's national championship of Uruguay 20 times. She also won the Argentine national women's title 14 times.

Crocker first played the U.S. Women's Amateur in 1939, but never had much success in that tournament. She did, however, impress spectators with her length off the tee. A 1939 Time magazine article said of Crocker, "... (her) long drives fascinated the galleries, convinced them that she is the Sam Snead of women golfers."

She worked for a while as a visa clerk in the American embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but eventually decided to pursue a professional golf career full-time.

And when we say full-time, we mean it: From the time she turned pro in 1954 up through at least 1958 (and possibly through 1960), Crocker played in every single LPGA event held.

In her very first round as a pro, at a 1954 tournament in Sea Island, Ga., Crocker set a course record.

Crocker was 39 years old at the time she turned pro, and when she won the 1955 Serbin Open, she set a record as the LPGA's oldest first-time winner. She was 40 years, 6 months, 18 days, and that record still stands.

She won three times in 1955, including the U.S. Women's Open, where she outdueled Louise Suggs and Mary Lena Faulk down the stretch.

Crocker won twice each in 1956, 1957, and 1958. At the 1958 U.S. Women's Open, her second-round 68 made her the first golfer to break 70 in that event.

Crocker won twice more in 1960, including her second major at the Titleholders Championship. She was 45 years, 7 months and 11 days old at the time of that win, also a record that still stands as oldest winner of an LPGA major.

But her days of winning on the LPGA Tour were over. Crocker was third on the LPGA money list in 1955, fourth in 1956 and second in 1957.

The Fay Crocker Cup, a South American event pitting national teams of junior golfers, is played yearly in Argentina. Crocker lived in Argentina after retirement, and died in 1983.

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