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.
|Full name||Mary Kathryn Wright|
|Born||February 14, 1935|
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Died||February 17, 2020 (aged 85)|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Sporting nationality||United States|
|Residence||Port St. Lucie, Florida|
|Former tour(s)||LPGA Tour (joined 1955)|
|Number of wins by tour|
|LPGA Tour||82 (2nd all time)|
|Best results in LPGA major championships|
|Western Open||Won: 1962, 1963, 1966|
|Titleholders C'ship||Won: 1961, 1962|
|Chevron Championship||T66: 1984|
|Women's PGA C'ship||Won: 1958, 1960, 1961, 1963|
|U.S. Women's Open||Won: 1958, 1959, 1961, 1964|
|Achievements and awards|
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. 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 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, at a course (Hogan Park in Midland, Texas) on which the men's record, at the time, was 66. Wright's Tall City Open win is also tied for the largest final round comeback (10 shots) in LPGA history. Wright was coached by Harry Pressler. Ben Hogan said her swing was the best he had ever seen.
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.
In 2000, Wright was ranked as the ninth greatest golfer of all time, and the top woman golfer, by Golf Digest magazine. 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. She was inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame in 2017.
Notable amateur wins edit
- 1952 U.S. Girls' Junior
- 1954 World Amateur Championship
Professional wins (90) edit
LPGA Tour (82) edit
- 1956 (1) Jacksonville Open
- 1957 (3) Sea Island Open, Jacksonville Open, Wolverine Open
- 1958 (5) Sea Island Open, LPGA Championship, U.S. Women's Open, Opie Turner Open, Dallas Open
- 1959 (4) Jacksonville Open, Cavalier Open, U.S. Women's Open, Alliance Machine International Open
- 1960 (6) Sea Island Open, Tampa Open, LPGA Championship, Grossinger Open, Eastern Open, Memphis Open
- 1961 (10) St. Petersburg Open, Miami Open, Titleholders Championship, Columbus Open, U.S. Women's Open, Waterloo Open, Spokane Women's Open, Sacramento Valley Open, Mickey Wright Invitational, LPGA Championship
- 1962 (10) Sea Island Women's Invitational, Titleholders Championship, Women's Western Open, Milwaukee Open, Heart of America Invitational, Albuquerque Swing Parade, Salt Lake City Open, Spokane Open, Mickey Wright Invitational, Carlsbad Cavern Open
- 1963 (13) Sea Island Women's Invitational, St. Petersburg Women's Open, Alpine Civitan Open, Muskogee Civitan Open, Dallas Civitan Open, Babe Zaharias Open, Women's Western Open, Waterloo Women's Open Invitational, Albuquerque Swing Parade, Idaho Centennial Ladies' Open, Visalia Ladies' Open, Mickey Wright Invitational, LPGA Championship
- 1964 (11) Peach Blossom Invitational, Clifford Ann Creed Invitational, Squirt Ladies' Open Invitational, Muskogee Civitan Open, Lady Carling Eastern Open, Waldemar Open, U.S. Women's Open, Milwaukee Jaycee Open, Visalia Ladies' Open, Tall City Open, Mary Mills Mississippi Gulf Coast Invitational
- 1965 (2) Baton Rouge Invitational, Dallas Civitan Open
- 1966 (7) Venice Ladies Open, Shreveport Kiwanis Invitational, Bluegrass Ladies Invitational, Women's Western Open, Pacific Ladies' Classic, Shirley Englehorn Invitational, Mickey Wright Invitational
- 1967 (4) Shreveport Kiwanis Club Invitational, Bluegrass Invitational, Lady Carling Open (Maryland), Pensacola Ladies Invitational
- 1968 (4) Port Malabar Invitational, Palm Beach County Open, Tall City Open, 500 Ladies Classic
- 1969 (1) Bluegrass Invitational
- 1973 (1) Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner's Circle
- 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
|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
- "Hall of Fame – San Diego Hall of Champions". Sdhoc.com. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- "Mickey Wright Fires 9-Under-Par 62". Eugene Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. Associated Press. November 4, 1964. p. 2B. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- Brown, Gwilym S. (November 23, 1964). "When Mickey Wright Did Nothing Wrong". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "Biggest Come From Behind Win on LPGA Tour - Largest Final-Round Comeback". Golf.about.com. February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- "Mickey Wright - Biography of Golfer Mickey Wright". Golf.about.com. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- "Mickey Wright undergoes breast cancer surgery". PGA Tour. October 27, 2006. Archived from the original on November 17, 2006. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- "Hall of Fame golfer Mickey Wright dies at 85". Fox 40. February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
- Fields, Bill (February 17, 2020). "Legendary LPGA Champion Mickey Wright Passes Away At 85". LPGA.
- Yocom, Guy (July 2000). "50 Greatest Golfers of All Time: And What They Taught Us". Golf Digest.
- Golf Digest, September 2009.
- "Gary Player, Renee Powell, Mickey Wright, Lew Worsham lead inductees to PGA of America Hall of Fame". PGA of America. September 7, 2017.