JoAnne Carner was an icon in women's golf during the 1970s and 1980s, but she was famous well before and long after that period, too.
Date of birth: April 4, 1949
Place of birth: Kirkland, Washington
Nickname: Big Mama on the LPGA Tour. Prior to getting married, when her name was JoAnne Gunderson, she was called "Great Gundy."
• U.S. Women's Open: 1971, 1976
• U.S. Women's Amateur: 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1968
Awards and Honors:
• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• LPGA Tour money leader, 1974, 1982, 1983
• Vare Trophy winner (lowest scoring average), 1974, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1983
• LPGA Tour player of the year, 1974, 1981, 1982
• Member, U.S. Curtis Cup team, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964
• Captain, U.S. Solheim Cup team, 1994
• As an amateur in 1969, Carner won the LPGA Burdine's Invitational. Another amateur didn't win an LPGA event until 2012.
• Carner holds the distinction of being the oldest player to make a cut on LPGA Tour. She was 64 years and 26 days when she made the cut at the 2004 LPGA Chik-fil-A Charity Championship.
JoAnne Carner Biography:
JoAnne Carner compiled one of the finest amateur records of any woman golfer. Then she compiled one of the finest professional records. And Carner was still compiling records well into her 60s.
Carner first gained national notice in 1956, when - as JoAnne Gunderson - she won the USGA Girls Junior championship and, later, lost in the title match at the U.S. Women's Amateur. The following year she won the first of what would become five U.S. Women's Amateur championships.
Carner played in LPGA Tour events here and there as she was dominating the women's amateur scene. Her several high finishes in pro events culminated in 1969 when she won the LPGA Burdine's Invitational.
The following year, at age 30, Carner finally turned pro. And kept right on winning. She got her first U.S. Women's Open victory in 1971. She had gone winless for two years when, in 1974, Carner claimed six tour victories and led the money list for the first time.
Another U.S. Women's Open title came in 1976, in an 18-hole playoff against Sandra Palmer, but it would be Carner's last win in a major. She came close several more times, even well after her prime - losing an 18-hole playoff to Laura Davies at the 1987 U.S. Women's Open, and tying for second at the 1992 LPGA Championship at the age of 53.
Carner's most productive years were in the early 1980s, when she won three Vare Trophies, two money titles and two player-of-the-year awards.
Carner's last LPGA Tour win was in 1985. But she continued playing the tour. In 1999, at age 60 and playing the du Maurier Classic, she became the oldest player to make the cut at an LPGA major. In 2004, at age 64, she became the oldest to make the cut at any LPGA event.
Carner's booming drives matched her booming personality. She smoked while she played and was quick with a joke in her raspy voice. Carner earned a reputation after her tour career slowed as a top golf instructor for women.
JoAnne Carner was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1985.