1972 LPGA Tour

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The 1972 LPGA Tour was the 23rd season since the LPGA Tour officially began in 1950. The season ran from January 5 to November 5. The season consisted of 29 official money events. Kathy Whitworth won the most tournaments, five. Whitworth led the money list with earnings of $65,063.

The season saw the first tournament with a $100,000 purse, the Dinah Shore Colgate Winner's Circle ($110,000). It also saw the first player to win over $50,000 in a season, Whitworth. There were two first-time winners in 1972: Betty Burfeindt and Betsy Cullen. This season saw the return, for 1972 only, of the LPGA major, the Titleholders Championship. It also saw the last of Betsy Rawls' 55 LPGA wins.

The tournament results and award winners are listed below.

Tournament results[edit]

The following table shows all the official money events for the 1972 season.[1] "Date" is the ending date of the tournament. The numbers in parentheses after the winners' names are the number of wins they had on the tour up to and including that event. Majors are shown in bold.

Date Tournament Location Winner Score Purse ($) 1st prize ($)
Jan 9 Burdine's Invitational Florida United States Marlene Hagge (26) 211 (-5) 30,000 4,500
Mar 12 Lady Eve Open Texas United States Judy Rankin (6) 210 (-6) 25,000 3,750
Mar 19 Orange Blossom Classic Florida United States Carol Mann (30) 213 (-3) 20,000 3,000
Mar 26 Sears Women's World Classic Florida United States Betsy Cullen (1) 72 (-1) 85,000 12,000
Apr 16 Dinah Shore Colgate Winner's Circle California United States Jane Blalock (4) 213 (-3) 110,000 20,050
Apr 23 Birmingham Centennial Classic Alabama United States Betty Burfeindt (1) 212 (-4) 30,000 4,500
Apr 30 Alamo Ladies Open Texas United States Kathy Whitworth (60) 209 (-10) 25,000 3,750
May 7 Sealy LPGA Classic Nevada United States Betty Burfeindt (2) 282 (-6) 50,000 10,000
May 16 Suzuki Golf Internationale California United States Jane Blalock (5) 208 (-8) 38,000 5,700
May 21 Bluegrass Invitational Kentucky United States Kathy Cornelius (5) 211 (-5) 25,000 3,750
May 29 Titleholders Championship North Carolina United States Sandra Palmer (3) 283 (-1) 20,000 3,000
Jun 4 Lady Carling Open Maryland United States Carol Mann (31) 210 (-9) 30,000 4,500
Jun 11 Eve-LPGA Championship Massachusetts United States Kathy Ahern (2) 293 (+1) 50,000 7,500
Jul 2 U.S. Women's Open New York United States Susie Berning (8) 299 (+15) 40,000 6,000
Jul 9 George Washington Classic Pennsylvania United States Kathy Ahern (3) 213 (-6) 30,000 4,500
Jul 23 Raleigh Golf Classic North Carolina United States Kathy Whitworth (61) 212 (-4) 20,000 3,000
Jul 30 Lady Pepsi Open Georgia United States Jan Ferraris (2) 221 (-5) 25,000 3,750
Aug 6 Knoxville Ladies Classic Tennessee United States Kathy Whitworth (62) 210 (-3) 25,000 3,750
Aug 13 Pabst Ladies Classic Ohio United States Marilynn Smith (21) 210 (-6) 30,000 4,500
Aug 20 Southgate Ladies Open Kansas United States Kathy Whitworth (63) 216 (E) 20,000 3,000
Aug 27 National Jewish Hospital Open Colorado United States Sandra Haynie (24) 207 (-6) 25,000 3,750
Sep 10 Dallas Civitan Open Texas United States Jane Blalock (6) 211 (-5) 33,000 4,950
Sep 17 Quality First Classic Texas United States Sandra Haynie (25) 206 (-10) 20,000 3,000
Sep 25 Lincoln-Mercury Open California United States Sandra Haynie (26) 215 (-4) 28,000 4,200
Oct 1 Portland Ladies Classic Oregon United States Kathy Whitworth (64) 212 (-7) 25,000 3,750
Oct 10 Heritage Village Open Connecticut United States Judy Rankin (7) 212 (-7) 25,000 3,750
Oct 22 GAC Classic Arizona United States Betsy Rawls (55) 141 (-3)^ 30,000 4,500
Oct 29 Corpus Christi Civitan Open Texas United States Jo Ann Prentice (3) 210 (-6) 20,000 3,000
Nov 5 Lady Errol Classic Florida United States Jane Blalock (7) 214 (-2) 30,000 4,500

^ - weather-shortened tournament

Jane Blalock suspension and lawsuit[edit]

After she finished the second round of the Bluegrass Invitational held in Louisville, Kentucky, Jane Blalock was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Tourney director Gene McAuliff said Blalock did not mark her ball properly on the 17th green and then failed to take a two-stroke penalty for the infraction as required.[2]

Less than two weeks later, the LPGA executive board suspended Blalock for one year "for actions inconsistent with the code of ethics of the organization".[3] The executive board claimed Blalock had been under suspicion for over a year, that she had moved her ball illegally on multiple occasions and that there were witnesses to these happenings, plus that Blalock had admitted to her guilt.[4] Twenty-seven other LPGA Tour players signed a petition arguing that probation, a fine, and disqualification from the Louisville tournament were not enough punishment.[5] LPGA Executive Director Bud Erickson asked Blalock to feign a back injury so to avoid bad publicity but she refused.[6]

Fellow LPGA Tour golfer Sandra Palmer defended Blalock. In addition to saying she had never seen Blalock commit any rules violations, Palmer stated she didn't understand why the alleged infractions weren't reported at the time they happened and why other players signed Blalock's scorecards without reporting the incidents. Palmer also said, "If you see an infraction of the rules, you should point it out immediately. You don't wait until three years later to report something. Once you've signed that card, you're as guilty as the person who committed the violation."[7] The LPGA executive went on to warn Palmer in regards to her statements.[8] Palmer was also placed on probation for one year by the LPGA Tour and ordered not to make further statements of support for Jane Blalock.[9]

Jane Blalock filed a lawsuit against the LPGA Tour. In the suit, Blalock's lawyers motioned the court asking that Blalock be allowed to continue playing while the suit was resolved.[10] U.S. District Court Judge Charles A. Moye Jr. granted the motion.[11] Moye did however rule that any money Blalock earned while her case was being resolved would be placed in a court trust.[12] Blalock went on to win two more times in 1972, at the Dallas Civitan Open[13] and the Lady Errol Classic.[14]

Awards[edit]

Award Winner Country
Money winner Kathy Whitworth (7)  United States
Scoring leader (Vare Trophy) Kathy Whitworth (7)  United States
Player of the Year Kathy Whitworth (6)  United States
Rookie of the Year Jocelyne Bourassa  Canada

References[edit]

External links[edit]