LPGA Founding Member Betty Jameson has died. She was 89.
Jameson was one of the thirteen players who formed the Tour in 1950. The others were Alice Bauer, Patty Berg, Bettye Danoff, Helen Dettweiler, Marlene Hagge, Helen Hicks, Opal Hill, Sally Sessions, Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork, Louise Suggs and Babe Zaharias.
Jameson was a native of Oklahoma. A prodigy, she won the 1932 Texas Publinx at age 13, the Southern Championship at 14 and won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1939 and 1940. She attended the University of Texas at Austin, and in 1942, won the Western Open. The Western title was the first of her three Majors. She finished her amateur career with fourteen victories.
The 1942 season made her the first to win the Western Open and the Western Amateur in the same year.
Jameson turned professional in 1945, eventually winning twelve tournaments, plus two four-ball professional events with Mary Lena Faulk. Among Jameson’s professional wins were the U.S. Women’s Open in 1947 and the 1954 Women’s Western Open.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame of Women’s Golf in 1951, she was one of six inaugural members to the LPGA Hall of Fame. She also was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Women’s Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, and was recognized during the LPGA’s 50th Anniversary in 2000 as one of the LPGA’s top 50 players and teachers.
As far as I can tell, of the original founders, Bettye Danoff, Marlene Bauer Hagge, Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Louise Suggs still are with us. The LPGA should be trotting out these ladies at every opportunity in thanks for what they’ve done.