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Shirley Englehorn

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Shirley Englehorn was a very competitive player on the LPGA Tour - when she was healthy. But her career, which took place mostly in the 1960s, was cut short by injury.

Date of birth: December 12, 1940
Place of birth: Caldwell, Idaho

Tour Victories:

11

Major Championships:

1
LPGA Championship: 1970

Shirley Englehorn Biography:

Shirley Englehorn's brief LPGA Tour career was marked by one comeback from physical trauma, then more physical trauma from which she couldn't come back. Her tour career was essentially over at age 30, coming off her best season - and seemingly poised for bigger things to come.
Englehorn grew up in Idaho and won many amateur events in her home state, including the Idaho Open from 1957-59, and in the Pacific Northwest.

She turned pro and joined the LPGA Tour in 1959, with her first victory coming in the 1962 Carling Eastern Open.

Englehorn won twice in '62, then once each in 1963 and '64. But in 1965, Englehorn suffered injuries in an automobile accident and missed much of the season. But she returned to the LPGA in time to get into 10 tournaments, and later, in 1969, was awarded the Ben Hogan Award by the Golf Writers Association of America in honor of her successful comeback.

Her first win after the return from injury was at the 1966 Babe Zaharias Open, then, in 1967, Englehorn achieved a rare distinction: She won an eponymous tournament, taking the title at the Shirley Englehorn Invitational.

She played only a partial schedule in 1967-68. But 1970 was the best - and essentially last - year of Englehorn's LPGA career. That year she won four times - and they were four consecutive events on Englehorn's schedule - culminating her lone major championship victory at the LPGA Championship.

Englehorn won that LPGA Championship by defeating Kathy Whitworth in an 18-hole playoff. One of her previous wins also came via a playoff victory over Whitworth, who dominated this era of women's golf.

Englehorn had been suffering from problems with her ankles, perhaps due to the auto accident, and was in increasing pain when walking 54 or 72 holes of golf for a tournament.

In 1971, she underwent surgery that fused the bones in her ankles. She entered no tournaments and was unable to walk 18 holes for almost a year. When Englehorn finally did return to tournament golf, it was for only cameo appearances. More surgery followed in 1973, and Englehorn, after 1970, never played more than eight tournaments in a season. Her last LPGA appearance was in 1979.

Englehorn was known as a great long-iron player on Tour. After leaving competitive golf, she became a highly successful teaching pro, winning the top award from the LPGA's Teaching and Club Professional Division. At the turn of the 21st century, Englehorn was a regular member of Golf For Women magazine's annual Top 50 instructors list.

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