Former LPGA Tour stars JoAnne Carner and Rosie Jones will be honored this week when they are inducted into the Legends Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held Friday, Aug. 28, at the French Lick Springs Hotel in French Link, Ind. The induction will be held during tournament week of The Legends Championship, set for Aug. 29-30, at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.
"This is an honor I will cherish for the rest of my life and it makes my life’s work seem all the more valuable to me,” said Carner, who won 43 LPGA tournaments during a career that spanned from 1970 to 2005. “I am thrilled to be inducted into the Legends Hall of Fame.”
Born in Kirkland, Wash., Carner was one of the nation’s all-time top women amateur players before turning professional. She is still the only woman to have won United States Golf Association titles at the U.S. Girls’ Junior, U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Open championships.
Carner won the 1956 U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur and captured five U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships (1957, 1960, 1962, 1966 and 1968). In addition, she competed on four U.S. Curtis Cup teams and remains as the last amateur to have won an LPGA Tour event with her first LPGA victory at the 1969 Burdine’s Invitational.
She won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1971 and again in 1976, and tied for second at the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open, losing in an 18-hole playoff. At age 65 in 2004, she also became the oldest player to make the 36-hole cut at an LPGA tournament at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, as well as at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship.
Carner has been honored many times during her four decades on the LPGA Tour. She was inducted into the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame in 1982. She also earned the 1981 Bob Jones Award and the Golf Writers Association of America Player of the Year Award in 1982-83. In addition, Carner served as captain of the victorious U.S. team at the 1994 Solheim Cup.
Even at age 74, Carner, who now lives in Lake Worth, Fla., remains active and competitive on The Legends Tour, the official senior tour of the LPGA. She has posted four top-10 finishes and played in six ISPS Handa Cup international team competitions before taking over as Team U.S.A. Captain in 2012. Carner will serve as the 2015 PING U.S. Junior Solheim Cup Team Captain in Germany in September.
Jones played on the LPGA Tour from 1982 to 2006, winning 13 times with four runner-up finishes in major championships. A native of Santa Ana, Calif., Jones represented Team U.S.A. in seven Solheim Cup competitions from 1990-2005, a stretch in which the American side never lost. Jones also served as the U.S. Solheim Cup Captain in 2011.
Prior to turning professional, Jones was a three-time New Mexico Junior Champion (1974-76) and won the New Mexico State Championship in 1979. She was an AIAW All-American at Ohio State University in 1981. Jones competed on the Futures Golf Tour as a rookie professional and won twice on the Ladies European Tour during her 24-year professional career.
She joined The Legends Tour in 2006, winning twice in 2007. She went on to win five more Legends Tour titles and leads The Legends Tour among active members with seven victories.
In addition, Jones has competed in nine ISPS Handa Cup international team competitions representing Team U.S.A. from 2006-2014. Through 2013, Jones held the longest winning streak with 14 consecutive matches without a loss and leads the Americans in points won with 37 points.
Retiring from the LPGA Tour in 2006 and launching her own golf travel company called Rosie Jones Golf Getaways, Jones said she feels “pride and gratitude” in being inducted into the Legends Hall of Fame this year.
“Although I had hoped one day to be recognized for my energy for the game on and off the course, this truly caught me off guard and was an unexpected gift,” said Jones, 55, of Atlanta.
“I think the creation of the Legends Hall of Fame is a beautiful way to celebrate those players who have exceled not only in competition on the LPGA and Legends tours, but who are also recognized for their contributions off the golf course to help grow women’s golf,” added Jones.
The Legends Hall of Fame is a permanent installment displayed year-round at West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick and was created by the resort to showcase some of the greatest names in women’s golf history. The Legends’ exhibit features photos and memorabilia showcasing the history of players' careers.
Nominated candidates are reviewed and approved annually for induction by a five-member Legends Hall of Fame Induction Committee comprised of French Lick Resort officials and ambassadors, as well as active and former Legends Tour players.
Annual inductions of two individuals are held in conjunction with The Legends Championship. One inductee is an active member of The Legends Tour who is still regularly competing in official Legends Tour events. The second inductee is a semi-retired Legends Tour member who has made a significant impact on the game during her LPGA and Legends Tour careers.
Carner and Jones will join Legends Tour Hall of Fame members Nancy Lopez and Jane Blalock (inducted in 2014) and Jan Stephenson and Kathy Whitworth (inducted in 2013).
About The Legends Tour
The Legends Tour is the official senior tour of the LPGA. The tour began in 2000 by LPGA professionals to showcase the talents of some of the greatest women’s golfers of all time. The Legends Tour has more than 120 members, including 14 LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame members. Legends Tour players have over 750 combined LPGA Tour victories, including 84 major championships. In its 15 seasons, The Legends Tour has awarded more than $13 million in prize money and helped raise over $17 million for charity. The Legends Tour has hosted events in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Japan and Australia. For additional information on The Legends Tour, log on to www.thelegendstour.com.
Contact: Lisa Mickey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sue Fracker, The Legends Tour, email@example.com and 617-513-4716.