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.
|Full name||Elizabeth Earle Rawls|
|Born||May 4, 1928|
Spartanburg, South Carolina
|Died||October 21, 2023 (aged 95)|
|Sporting nationality||United States|
|College||University of Texas|
|Former tour(s)||LPGA Tour (joined 1951)|
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in LPGA major championships|
|Western Open||Won: 1952, 1959|
|Titleholders C'ship||2nd: 1952, 1953, 1959|
|Women's PGA C'ship||Won: 1959, 1969|
|U.S. Women's Open||Won: 1951, 1953, 1957, 1960|
|Achievements and awards|
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. The following year Rawls transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated from with a degree in physics in 1950.
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.
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. 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. From 1987 until 2004, she was the tournament director for the McDonald's LPGA Championship at the DuPont Country Club. 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.
Professional wins edit
LPGA Tour wins (55) edit
- 1951 (2) Sacramento Women's Invitational Open, U.S. Women's Open
- 1952 (8) Houston Weathervane, Bakersfield Open (tied with Marlene Hagge, Betty Jameson and Babe Zaharias), Seattle Weathervane, Cross Country 144 Hole Weathervane, Eastern Open, Women's Western Open, Carrollton Open, Thomasville Open
- 1953 (4) Barbara Romack Open, Eastern Open, U.S. Women's Open, Fort Worth Open
- 1954 (3) Tampa Women's Open, St. Louis Open, Texas Open
- 1955 (1) Carrollton Open
- 1956 (3) Tampa Open, Sarasota Open, Peach Blossom Open
- 1957 (5) Tampa Open, Lake Worth Open, Peach Blossom Open, U.S. Women's Open, Reno Open
- 1958 (2) Tampa Open, St. Petersburg Open
- 1959 (10) Lake Worth Open, Royal Crown Open, Babe Zaharias Open, Land of the Sky Open, Triangle Round Robin, LPGA Championship, Mt. Prospect Open, Women's Western Open, Waterloo Open, Opie Turner Open
- 1960 (4) Babe Zaharias Open, Cosmopolitan Open, U.S. Women's Open, Asheville Open
- 1961 (2) Cosmopolitan Open, Bill Brannin's Swing Parade
- 1962 (1) J.E. McAuliffe Memorial
- 1963 (1) Sunshine Women's Open
- 1964 (2) Dallas Civitan Open Invitational, Valhalla Open
- 1965 (2) Pensacola Invitational, Waterloo Open
- 1968 (1) Mickey Wright Invitational
- 1969 (1) LPGA Championship
- 1970 (2) Dallas Civitan Open, Cincinnati Open
- 1972 (1) GAC Classic
LPGA majors are shown in bold.
Other wins (3) edit
Major championships edit
Wins (8) edit
|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
- "University of Texas: Elizabeth Earle "Betsy" Rawls". UT Physics History Site. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
- "Betsy Rawls – Bio". LPGA. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- Myers, Brad (September 4, 2014). "DuPont club to honor Betsy Rawls on Friday". delawareonline. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- Barkow, Al (1986). Gettin' To The Dance Floor: An Oral History of American Golf. Atheneum. ISBN 978-0-689-11517-2.
- "Betsy Rawls, 4-time US Open champion and top administrator, dies at 95". Associated Press News. October 21, 2023. Retrieved October 22, 2023.
- 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.