Fay Crocker

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Fay Crocker
Personal information
Born(1914-08-02)2 August 1914
Montevideo, Uruguay
Died16 September 1983(1983-09-16) (aged 69)
Montevideo, Uruguay
Nationality Uruguay
Career
Turned professional1954
Retired1961
Former tour(s)LPGA Tour
Professional wins12
Number of wins by tour
LPGA Tour11
Other1
Best results in LPGA major championships
(wins: 2)
Western OpenT2: 1955
Titleholders C'shipWon: 1960
Women's PGA C'ship2nd: 1958
U.S. Women's OpenWon: 1955
Achievements and awards
Golf Digest Most Improved
Female Professional Golfer
1955
Plaque honoring Crocker with the legend "The best female golfer of all time" at Club de Golf del Uruguay.

Fay Crocker (2 August 1914 – 16 September 1983) was a Uruguayan professional golfer who played on the LPGA Tour. In her career, she won 11 LPGA tournaments, including two major championships, the 1955 U.S. Women's Open and 1960 Titleholders Championship. Crocker was the oldest player to win her first LPGA event, the first U.S. Women's Open champion from outside the United States, and the oldest women's major champion.

Biography[edit]

Crocker was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 2 August 1914.[1] Her father Frederick was a rancher. Also a golfer, he was a 27-time national champion in Uruguay. Crocker's mother, Helen,[2] was a national champion in multiple sports, playing tennis and golf.[3] She was a 6-time Uruguayan golf champion.[2] Fay Crocker began playing golf at the age of six and became an accomplished player in South America, claiming her home country's national title on 20 occasions and Argentina's championship another 14.[3] Crocker traveled to the United States to compete in the U.S. Women's Amateur as early as 1939. After bowing out of the match-play event in the third round, she did not play in the tournament again for 11 years.[4] For a time, Crocker worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a U.S. Embassy clerk.[1] In 1950, she returned to the U.S. Women's Amateur and advanced to the fourth round before losing to Mae Murray in 27 holes, nine more than the regulation 18. At the time, it was the longest playoff in a women's match-play event organized by the United States Golf Association.[4] Crocker became a professional golfer when she was 39 years old, in 1954.[3] Her professional debut came at the Sea Island Open, where she shot a course-record 69 in the final round and posted a seventh-place result.[1]

In Crocker's 19th professional tournament, the 1955 Serbin Open, she won for the first time.[5] She is the oldest player to win for the first time on the LPGA Tour as of 2013, doing so at the age of 40.[6] Later in 1955, Crocker posted a seven-stroke victory in the Wolverine Open.[7] At the Women's Western Open, she started the final round one stroke out of the lead and finished tied for second, two strokes behind winner Patty Berg.[8] Crocker added to her two previous wins in 1955 by claiming a victory in the U.S. Women's Open.[1] In a tournament that featured 45-mile-per-hour wind gusts, Crocker was the only player to finish in under 300 strokes; her final score of 299 was four strokes ahead of runners-up Louise Suggs and Mary Lena Faulk.[9] The win made Crocker the first U.S. Women's Open champion from a country other than the United States.[10] In addition, she became the first golfer ever to finish a U.S. Women's Open round in fewer than 70 strokes, achieving the feat in the second round with a 68.[1] At the end of the season, Golf Digest named Crocker the Most Improved Female Professional Golfer.[11]

In 1956, Crocker again won the Serbin Open (also known as the Miami Beach Open),[12][13] and added a victory at the St. Louis Open.[14] Crocker won two tournaments in 1957: her third straight Serbin Open and the Triangle Round Robin.[15][16] At the 1958 LPGA Championship, she finished as the runner-up, six strokes behind winner Mickey Wright.[17] That year, she won the Havana Biltmore Open and Waterloo Open,[18][19] making it her fourth consecutive season with multiple victories.[1]

Crocker won two events early in the 1960 season, beginning with the Lake Worth Open.[20] Then, in March 1960, she claimed a victory in the Titleholders Championship; her four-round score of 303 was seven strokes ahead of the closest competitor, Kathy Cornelius.[21] Crocker was 45 years old when she won the Titleholders; as of 2013, she is the oldest major champion in LPGA Tour history.[6] Having competed in almost all LPGA events in the six-year stretch from 1955 to 1960,[22] Crocker is credited with 11 official tour wins.[23][24] She stopped playing on the LPGA Tour in 1961, having amassed $73,410 in earnings, which placed her among the top 10 in the LPGA's career money list at the time of her retirement.[25] After her retirement, Crocker moved to Argentina, where she resided for most of her life after professional golf.[22] On 16 September 1983, when Crocker was 69 years old, she died in Montevideo.[1]

Professional wins[edit]

LPGA Tour wins[edit]

Other wins[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (2)[edit]

Year Championship Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
1955 U.S. Women's Open +11 (74-72-79-74=299) 4 strokes United States Mary Lena Faulk, United States Louise Suggs
1960 Titleholders Championship +15 (75-75-77-76=303) 7 strokes United States Kathy Cornelius

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Walker, Rhiannon (16 September 2017). "On this day in Latinx history: Uruguayan golfer Fay Crocker dies at 69". The Undefeated. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Fay Crocker Feels at Home on America's Golf Courses". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. 4 September 1955. p. 4B.
  3. ^ a b c Mallon, Bill; Jerris, Randon (2011). Historical Dictionary of Golf. Scarecrow Press. p. 81. ISBN 9780810874657.
  4. ^ a b Dey, Joseph (August 1955). "Miss Crocker Caps Unusual Record" (PDF). USGA Journal and Turf Management: 8.
  5. ^ "Fay Crocker Wins Serbin Open Golf". The Times-News. United Press. 21 February 1955. p. 8.
  6. ^ a b "LPGA All-Time Records" (PDF). LPGA. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Fay Crocker Victor in Wolverine Open". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 31 May 1955. p. 15.
  8. ^ "Patty Berg Gains Title Fifth Time". The New York Times. United Press. 27 June 1955. p. 26.
  9. ^ "Fay Crocker New Women's Champ". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. 2 July 1955. p. 9.
  10. ^ "International Qualifying To Be Introduced For U.S. Women's Open". United States Golf Association. 3 March 2014.
  11. ^ "The Archive: Golf Digest Awards". Golf Digest. February 2009.
  12. ^ Phillips, Randy (12 February 2011). "Feb. 12, 2011: Golf on this day". The Montreal Gazette.
  13. ^ "Fay Crocker's 144 Wins Title at Miami Beach". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 13 February 1956. p. C3.
  14. ^ "Miss Crocker Victor". The New York Times. United Press. 20 August 1956. p. 27.
  15. ^ Anderson, Norris (11 February 1957). "Serbin, Patty in Rut: Same Annual Finish". The Miami News. p. 14A.
  16. ^ "Fay Crocker Wins Triangle". The Times-News. United Press. 3 June 1957. p. 10.
  17. ^ Drum, Bob (9 June 1958). "Mickey Wright Breezes To LPGA Title". The Pittsburgh Press. p. 26.
  18. ^ "Fay Crocker Wins Havana Tourney". The Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. 3 February 1958. p. 11.
  19. ^ "Fay Crocker Wins Waterloo Open". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 25 August 1958. p. 25.
  20. ^ "Crocker Tops Money Makers". The Evening Independent. 5 April 1960. p. 8A.
  21. ^ "Augusta Tourney To Fay Crocker". The New York Times. Associated Press. 15 March 1960. p. 52.
  22. ^ a b Sirak, Ron (29 March 2010). "Fay Crocker". Golf World. Vol. 63 no. 30. p. 41.
  23. ^ "Official Career Wins" (PDF). LPGA. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  24. ^ "Tournament Chronology" (PDF). Ladies Professional Golf Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  25. ^ "Rawls Leads Ladies PGA All-Time Money Winners" (PDF). Golf Digest. August 1964. p. 50A.