LPGA legend Betsy Rawls passes away at age 95
October 24, 2023
According to Madison Williams of Sports Illustrated on Saturday, women’s golf legend Betsy Rawls passed away on Saturday at the age of 95. Rawls of Spartanburg, South Carolina, won eight major titles in women’s golf. She was victorious at the 1951, 1953, 1957, and 1960 United States Women’s Opens, the 1952 and 1959 Western Opens, and the 1959 and 1969 Women’s PGA Championships.
In all, Rawls won 55 titles on the LPGA Tour. That ranks her sixth all-time behind Kathy Whitworth of Monahans, Texas (88), Mickey Wright of San Diego, California (82), Annika Sorenstam of Bro, Sweden (72), Louise Suggs of Atlanta, Georgia (61), and Patty Berg of Minneapolis, Minnesota (60). Interestingly, Whitworth just passed away last year at the age of 83.
Twice, Rawls led the LPGA in the annual money list. The first time came in 1952, when she won $14,505, and the second time came in 1959, when she won $26,774. The leading money winner in women’s golf in 2022 was Lydia Ko of New Zealand, who won $4.36 million.
Rawls attended the University of Texas. and won four events as an amateur before turning professional in 1951. While as an amateur, she finished second to the legend Babe Zaharias of Port Arthur, Texas at the 1950 United States Women’s Open.
It should be noted that Rawls won her four United States Women’s Open titles despite shooting a combined total score of 22 over par. When she won the 1952 Western Open at the time, the format was match play, which Rawls won one-up over Betty Jameson of Norman, Oklahoma.
Rawls was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1960. She was then the president of the LPGA in 1961 and 1962.