Golf Herstory 101

May 25, 2003

Tiger Woods has said that Annika Sorenstam's appearance at this
week's Colonial will be good for women's golf, but only if she
plays well. Others would argue that her presence alone is a great
leap forward. History will eventually render its verdict. In the
meantime, here are SI's picks for the best and worst moments in
women's golf history. --Jeff Silverman

BEST

1929 Four-time British Open champ Joyce Wethered and six-time
U.S. Amateur winner Glenna Collett Vare face off on the Old
Course in the final of the British Women's Open. Wethered
prevails on the 35th hole of what's instantly dubbed the Match of
the Century.

1950 Led by Patty Berg and Babe Zaharias, 13 pros launch the LPGA
with the Tampa Open, instantly transforming the women's tour from
a barnstorming sideshow to bona fide competition.

1954 The nation cheers former Olympic track and field gold
medalist Zaharias to her third U.S. Open championship, a year
after she underwent surgery for colon cancer.

1962 Mickey Wright wins the Western Open, making her the first
player since Bobby Jones--and last until Tiger Woods--to hold
four major titles simultaneously.

1978 In her first season as a pro, Nancy Lopez wins nine times,
reinvigorating the game with her dazzling talent and charisma.
Even tennis enthusiast Johnny Carson hops on the bandwagon,
inviting her to appear on The Tonight Show.

2001 Annika Sorenstam makes eight consecutive birdies en route to
becoming the first woman to shoot 59.

WORST

EARLY 20TH CENTURY The membership at Royal St. George's, site of
the 2003 British Open, displays an infamous sign outside the
clubhouse: NO DOGS; NO WOMEN. The policy for women is eventually
modified in the 1930s.

1981 In a photo spread for the LPGA's in-house magazine, Jan
Stephenson poses in a barely-there nightgown, one of a series of
cheesecake publicity shots that will forever affect the tour's
image. Jane Blalock rips the LPGA for peddling
"quasipornography."

1989 USGA officials schedule a day of golf at the host course for
the 1990 U.S. Open, Medinah No. 3. Falling on a day when
Medinah's rules deny women access to No. 3, the club steadfastly
refuses to let USGA committee member (and future president) Judy
Bell play.

1995 Veteran CBS commentator Ben Wright overshadows the LPGA
Championship, and self-immolates when he utters a series of
inflammable remarks to a reporter, including, "Women are
handicapped by having boobs. It's not easy for them to keep their
left arms straight."

2002 Having emphasized attractiveness alongside performance in
his five-point plan to make LPGA players more marketable,
commissioner Ty Votaw begins dating three-time tour winner Sophie
Gustafson.

B/W PHOTO: CORBIS/BETTMANN (ZAHARIAS) Babe Zaharias B/W PHOTO: JAMES DRAKE (WRIGHT) Mickey Wright COLOR PHOTO: BRUCE BEYERS (STEPHENSON) Jan Stephenson COLOR PHOTO: AP (VOTAW) Ty Votaw

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)