Judy Rankin stood the golf world on its ear when she won the 1959 Missouri Amateur as a 14-year-old. The following year, she was low amateur in the U.S. Women’s Open and was still young enough to also be a semi-finalist in the USGA Girls Championship in both 1960 and 1961.
In 1962, as a 17-year-old, Rankin joined the LPGA Tour and between 1968 and 1979, she ran-up 26 titles. In 1976, Judy won 7 events and set a single-seasons earnings mark of $150,743. She was the first woman to pass $100,000 in a season and was named Player of the Year and also winner of the Vare Trophy for a second time. In all, Rankin won the Vare three times. In 1967, Judy met and married former Texas Tech football player “Yippy” Rankin and became a Texan.
A former LPGA Board of Directors member, Rankin’s last full season on the LPGA Tour was in 1983, after which she underwent back surgery and hence retired from competitive golf. She is currently a golf analyst on network television and is endeared by the golf world.
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
Born: February 18, 1945