Mary Kathryn "Mickey" Wright (February 14, 1935 – February 17, 2020) was an American professional golfer who played on the LPGA Tour. She became a member of the tour in 1955 and won 82 LPGA Tour career events including 13 major championships. She is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Mickey Wright
Wright in 1965
Personal information
Full nameMary Kathryn Wright
Born(1935-02-14)February 14, 1935
San Diego, California, U.S.
DiedFebruary 17, 2020(2020-02-17) (aged 85)
Florida, U.S.
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Sporting nationality United States
ResidencePort St. Lucie, Florida
CollegeStanford University
(one year)
Turned professional1954
Former tour(s)LPGA Tour (joined 1955)
Professional wins90
Number of wins by tour
LPGA Tour82 (2nd all time)
Best results in LPGA major championships
(wins: 13)
Western OpenWon: 1962, 1963, 1966
Titleholders C'shipWon: 1961, 1962
Chevron ChampionshipT66: 1984
Women's PGA C'shipWon: 1958, 1960, 1961, 1963
U.S. Women's OpenWon: 1958, 1959, 1961, 1964
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame1976 (member page)
Money Winner
1961, 1962, 1963, 1964
LPGA Vare Trophy1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964
Associated Press
Female Athlete of the Year
1963, 1964
Bob Jones Award2010
PGA of America
Hall of Fame

Early life and amateur career edit

Wright was born on February 14, 1935, in San Diego, California, where she attended Herbert Hoover High School. Her first important title was the 1952 U.S. Girls' Junior. She attended Stanford University and played for its golf team, but left before graduation.[1] She lost in the final of the 1954 U.S. Women's Amateur, won the 1954 World Amateur Championship, and turned professional later in 1954.

Professional career edit

Wright in 1960

Wright joined the LPGA Tour in 1955. She won 82 events on the LPGA Tour, which puts her second on the all-time win list behind Kathy Whitworth, who won 88 times. Thirteen of her victories were in major championships, which places her second to Patty Berg, who won fifteen majors. Wright topped the LPGA money list for four consecutive seasons from 1961 to 1964 and made the top ten on the list thirteen times in total between 1956 and 1969. Wright won at least one LPGA title for 14 straight seasons, from 1956 to 1969.

At the inaugural Tall City Open in 1964, Wright shot a 62 in the third and final round. It was the lowest score in LPGA Tour history at that time,[2] at a course (Hogan Park in Midland, Texas) on which the men's record, at the time, was 66.[3] Wright's Tall City Open win is also tied for the largest final round comeback (10 shots) in LPGA history.[4] Wright was coached by Harry Pressler. Ben Hogan said her swing was the best he had ever seen.[5]

Wright retired from full-time golf at age 34 in 1969, because of problems with her feet, but did compete occasionally after that. She won 13 majors between 1958 and 1966, and she is the only player in LPGA Tour history to hold all four major titles at the same time. She lived in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and played recreational golf occasionally. She was a breast cancer survivor.[6]

Death edit

Wright died on February 17, 2020, from a heart attack at the age of 85. At the time, she had been hospitalized following a fall a few weeks prior.[7][8]

Legacy edit

In 2000, Wright was ranked as the ninth greatest golfer of all time, and the top woman golfer, by Golf Digest magazine.[9] In a major 2009 survey of experts, published by Golf Magazine, she was chosen as the eighth best player of all time, and the top woman player of all time.[10] She was inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame in 2017.[11]

Notable amateur wins edit

Professional wins (90) edit

LPGA Tour (82) edit

Note: Wright won the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner's Circle (now known as the ANA Inspiration) before it became a major championship.

LPGA majors are shown in bold.

Other wins (8) edit

Major championships edit

Wins (13) edit

Year Championship Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
1958 LPGA Championship +8 (69-69-76-74=288) 6 strokes   Fay Crocker
1958 U.S. Women's Open −2 (74-72-70-74=290) 5 strokes   Louise Suggs
1959 U.S. Women's Open +7 (72-75-69-71=287) 2 strokes   Louise Suggs
1960 LPGA Championship −4 (71-76-74-71=292) 3 strokes   Louise Suggs
1961 Titleholders Championship +11 (72-75-76-76=299) 1 stroke   Patty Berg,   Louise Suggs
1961 U.S. Women's Open +5 (72-80-69-72=293) 6 strokes   Betsy Rawls
1961 LPGA Championship +3 (67-77-72-71=287) 9 strokes   Louise Suggs
1962 Titleholders Championship +7 (73-75-70-77=295) Playoff1   Ruth Jessen
1962 Women's Western Open +7 (69-74-76-76=295) Playoff2   Mary Lena Faulk
1963 Women's Western Open −4 (78-70-71-73=292) 9 strokes   Kathy Whitworth
1963 LPGA Championship +10 (72-82-70-70=294) 2 strokes   Mary Lena Faulk,   Mary Mills,   Louise Suggs
1964 U.S. Women's Open −2 (71-71-75-73=290) Playoff3   Ruth Jessen
1966 Women's Western Open +2 (72-78-76-76=302) 1 stroke   Jo Ann Prentice,   Margie Masters

1 In an 18-hole playoff, Wright 69, Jessen 72.
2 Wright won on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff.
3 In an 18-hole playoff, Wright 70, Jessen 72.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Hall of Fame – San Diego Hall of Champions". Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  2. ^ "Mickey Wright Fires 9-Under-Par 62". Eugene Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. Associated Press. November 4, 1964. p. 2B. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
  3. ^ Brown, Gwilym S. (November 23, 1964). "When Mickey Wright Did Nothing Wrong". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  4. ^ "Biggest Come From Behind Win on LPGA Tour - Largest Final-Round Comeback". February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  5. ^ "Mickey Wright - Biography of Golfer Mickey Wright". Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  6. ^ "Mickey Wright undergoes breast cancer surgery". PGA Tour. October 27, 2006. Archived from the original on November 17, 2006. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  7. ^ "Hall of Fame golfer Mickey Wright dies at 85". Fox 40. February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  8. ^ Fields, Bill (February 17, 2020). "Legendary LPGA Champion Mickey Wright Passes Away At 85". LPGA.
  9. ^ Yocom, Guy (July 2000). "50 Greatest Golfers of All Time: And What They Taught Us". Golf Digest.
  10. ^ Golf Digest, September 2009.
  11. ^ "Gary Player, Renee Powell, Mickey Wright, Lew Worsham lead inductees to PGA of America Hall of Fame". PGA of America. September 7, 2017.

External links edit