JoAnne Carner, known to many as the “Great Gundy,” compiled 43 victories during her LPGA career, beginning with a win in the 1969 Burdine’s Invitational--making her the last amateur to win an LPGA event. Her first official LPGA Tour win as a professional came in 1970, her rookie year, as she defeated Marilynn Smith in a sudden-death playoff at the Wendell-West Open.
Carner dominated women's golf in the 1970s and 80s, winning 42 LPGA titles in a 14-year period from 1970 to 1984 and, after turning pro, in just 12 seasons winning 35 events to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame. In her second career victory as a professional, Carner won the 1971 U.S. Women's Open, making her the only golfer in history to win the U.S. Girls' Junior, the U.S. Women's Amateur and the U.S. Women's Open titles. She won the Women's Open again in 1976.
An inductee into the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame in 1982, Carner was voted Player of the Year three times and brought home the LPGA’s Vare Trophy, given to the woman with the lowest season stroke average, five times during her career. Carner not only dominated on the course, but also was recognized among GOLF Magazine’s list of “100 Heroes” during the 1988 Centennial of Golf in America celebration and received the 2003 Eagle Award from the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Southeast Section membership. Carner was also honored, in 1981, with the Bob Jones Award from the USGA.
•1971:U.S. Women’s Open
•1976:U.S. Women’s Open
JACKIE BURKE, JR.
Hall of famer Jackie Burke, Jr. won 17 PGA Tour titles, including four consecutive titles (five overall) in 1952 with victories in the Texas Open, Houston Open, Baton Rouge Open and the St. Petersburg Open. Burke captured the 1956 Masters Tournament by one stroke over Ken Venturi in an impressive comeback victory. He went on that year to win the PGA Championship at Blue Hill Golf and Country Club in Canton, Massachusetts. Burke also was named 1956 PGA Player of the Year and was honored the same year with the Vardon Trophy, given to the PGA Tour Player with the year’s best scoring average. Burke competed on five Ryder Cup teams, posting a 7-1 match record, and after captaincies in 1957 and 1973 served as Honorary Captain in 2004.
A decorated player and renowned teacher of the game sought out for advice by players including Phil Mickelson, Hal Sutton, and Ben Crenshaw, Burke also championed the purity and integrity of golf, and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
In 2007, Burke received the PGA Distinguished Service Award, the PGA of America's highest annual individual honor, and in 2004 he was awarded the USGA’s highest honor, the Bob Jones Award.
Burke’s achievements as a player are only part of his résumé. In 1957, he joined friend and fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Jimmy Demaret in building and managing the Champions Golf Club in their hometown of Houston, Texas.