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Jane Blalock

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Jane Blalock was very successful at winning LPGA Tour tournaments in the 1970s, but was also mired in controversy early in that decade.

Date of birth: Sept. 19, 1945
Place of birth: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Tour Victories:

27

Major Championships:

0

Awards and Honors:

• LPGA Rookie of the Year, 1969
• Member, New England Sports Hall of Fame

Quote, Unquote:

Jane Blalock: "I go into the locker room and find a corner and just sit there. I try to achieve a peaceful state of nothingness that will carry over onto the golf course. If I can get that feeling of quiet and obliviousness within myself, I feel I can't lose."

Trivia:

• Jane Blalock's 27 wins are the most for any woman without winning a major.

• She was the first player in LPGA Tour history to win more than $100,000 in a season four straight years.

• Blalock did not miss a cut from 1969 through the last event of 1980 - a stretch of 299 tournaments. That's the LPGA record.

Jane Blalock Biography:

For most of her career, Jane Blalock was a star and a consistent force on the LPGA Tour. But an incident early in her career - in which she was accused of cheating - stayed with her throughout that career, although the scandal did eventually lead to important and positive changes in the LPGA Tour in the mid-1970s.
Blalock was a rising young star in the early 1970s. But she was also a bit controversial; outspoken, considered a "hippie" by some because she drew peace symbols on her golf bag.

In mid-1972, the LPGA executive board, comprised of fellow players, confronted Blalock with charges of cheating. The committee told Blalock she'd been observed in several tournaments lifting her ball on the green, then replacing it ever so slightly closer to the hole.

Blalock had never before been accused of cheating and denied the charges. However, a little while later she issued an apology that some interpreted as an admission of guilt. Twenty-nine LPGA players signed a petition calling for her suspension, and the LPGA Executive Committee ultimately suspended her for one year.

Blalock sued and won a temporary injunction to continue playing. She went on to lead the Tour with five wins in 1972. The courts eventually found the LPGA in violation of antitrust laws.

Blalock's reputation was tarnished, but she continued playing and winning. The episode led the LPGA to disallow its players ruling on other players, and led to the hiring of the first LPGA Tour commissioner.

Blalock started golfing at age 13 and won the New Hampshire Amateur five straight times beginning in 1965, plus the New England Amateur in 1968. As an amateur, she tied for fifth at the 1969 LPGA Burdine's Invitational, then turned pro and earned Rookie of the Year honors.

Her first win came in 1970. She won 25 times in the decade of the 1970s, and from the time she joined the Tour in 1969 until the final event of 1980, Blalock never missed a cut.

She went winless from 1981-84, then won twice in 1985 for what would be her final victories. Blalock retired from full-time competition in 1986.

Blalock has the distinction of winning the most times on the LPGA without winning a major. She finished second twice at the LPGA Championship. She did win the Colgate Dinah Shore Winner's Circle in 1972, an event later upgraded to major status. With 27 wins, she matches the point total required for Hall of Fame membership; however, that system was put in place after Blalock retired and it is now up to a Veterans Committee to vote on her Hall credentials.

Blalock's company is a golf event management firm, and Blalock conceived of the LPGA Golf Clinics for Women program. She also played a role in founding the Women's Senior Golf Tour (now called the Legends Tour).

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