Elizabeth Earle Rawls (May 4, 1928 – October 21, 2023) was an American LPGA Tour professional golfer. She won eight major championships and 55 LPGA Tour career events. She was a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Betsy Rawls
Personal information
Full nameElizabeth Earle Rawls
Born(1928-05-04)May 4, 1928
Spartanburg, South Carolina
DiedOctober 21, 2023(2023-10-21) (aged 95)
Lewes, Delaware
Sporting nationality United States
CollegeUniversity of Texas
Turned professional1951
Former tour(s)LPGA Tour (joined 1951)
Professional wins58
Number of wins by tour
LPGA Tour55
Best results in LPGA major championships
(wins: 8)
Western OpenWon: 1952, 1959
Titleholders C'ship2nd: 1952, 1953, 1959
Women's PGA C'shipWon: 1959, 1969
U.S. Women's OpenWon: 1951, 1953, 1957, 1960
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame1960 (member page)
Money Winner
1952, 1959
LPGA Vare Trophy1959
Patty Berg Award1980
Bob Jones Award1996
LPGA 50th Anniversary
Commissioner's Award

Early life and education edit

Rawls was the daughter of Robert Miller and Mary Earle Rawls. She was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and moved to Arlington, Texas, in 1940. She went on to graduate from Lovelady High School and enrolled in North Texas Agricultural College (now UT-Arlington) in 1946 as a physics major. As a freshman, she was recognized by faculty and department heads as a "Who's Who" in Physics, and was selected for the Phi Kappa Theta honor society.[1] The following year Rawls transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated from with a degree in physics in 1950.[1]

Amateur career edit

Rawls started playing golf at age 17. She won the Texas Amateur in 1949 and 1950. She also won the 1949 Trans-National and the 1950 Broadmoor Invitational. In 1950, she finished second at the U.S. Women's Open as an amateur.[2]

Professional career edit

Rawls turned professional in 1951 and joined the LPGA Tour. She won her first tournament that year at the Sacramento Women's Invitational Open. She would go on to win a total of 55 events on the LPGA Tour, including eight major championships.[3] In 1959, she earned the LPGA Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average. She was the tour's leading money winner in 1952 and 1959 and finished in the top ten on the money list a total of nine times. She led the tour in wins three times, 1952 with eight, 1957 with five (tied with Patty Berg), and 1959 with ten.

Rawls was the LPGA's president from 1961 to 1962. In 1967, when the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame was created, she was one of the six inaugural inductees. The LPGA recognized her induction year into the Hall of Fame of Women's Golf, 1960, as her official induction year into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame. Following her retirement from tournament play in 1975, she became a tournament director for the LPGA Tour.[4] From 1987 until 2004, she was the tournament director for the McDonald's LPGA Championship at the DuPont Country Club.[3] In 1996, she was voted the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.[2]

Death edit

Rawls died in Lewes, Delaware, on October 21, 2023, at the age of 95.[5][6]

Professional wins edit

LPGA Tour wins (55) edit

LPGA majors are shown in bold.

Other wins (3) edit

Major championships edit

Wins (8) edit

Year Championship Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
1951 U.S. Women's Open +5 (73-71-74-75=293) 5 strokes   Louise Suggs
1952 Women's Western Open 1 up   Betty Jameson
1953 U.S. Women's Open +6 (75-78-74-75=302) Playoff1   Jackie Pung
1957 U.S. Women's Open +7 (74-74-75-76=299) 6 strokes   Patty Berg
1959 LPGA Championship +8 (76-68-69-75=288) 1 stroke   Patty Berg
1959 Women's Western Open −1 (70-76-76-71=293) 6 strokes   JoAnne Gunderson (a),   Patty Berg
1960 U.S. Women's Open +4 (76-73-68-75=292) 1 stroke   Joyce Ziske
1969 LPGA Championship +1 (71-72-79-71=293) 4 strokes   Susie Berning,   Carol Mann

1 In an 18-hole playoff, Rawls 70, Pung 77.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "University of Texas: Elizabeth Earle "Betsy" Rawls". UT Physics History Site. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Betsy Rawls – Bio". LPGA. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Myers, Brad (September 4, 2014). "DuPont club to honor Betsy Rawls on Friday". delawareonline. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  4. ^ Barkow, Al (1986). Gettin' To The Dance Floor: An Oral History of American Golf. Atheneum. ISBN 978-0-689-11517-2.
  5. ^ "Betsy Rawls, 4-time US Open champion and top administrator, dies at 95". Associated Press News. October 21, 2023. Retrieved October 22, 2023.
  6. ^ Nichols, Beth Ann (October 21, 2023). "Betsy Rawls, a 4-time U.S. Women's Open champion, dies at age 95". Golfweek. Retrieved October 21, 2023.

External links edit