Suggs, Louise

Suggs, Louise

▪ American golfer
in full  Mae Louise Suggs 
born Sept. 7, 1923, Lithia Springs, Ga., U.S.

      American golfer who served three times as president of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and won 50 LPGA tournaments.

      One of the hotels in Suggs's hometown of Lithia Springs had a nine-hole golf course, and it was there that she displayed an early aptitude for the game. She began playing as an amateur in 1939 and was noted for her excellent form. By 1946, when she won the Western Open, the Western Amateur (the first of three times), and the North and South Women's Open, her reputation as one of the big three of women's golf (along with Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Zaharias, Babe Didrikson) and Phyllis Otto) had long been established. In 1948 she was named to the Curtis Cup team, and that year, after achieving victories in all major amateur tournaments including the British Amateur Championship, Suggs turned professional.

      She continued to meet with success as a professional, winning numerous events, including the U.S. Women's Open in 1949 (a record 14 strokes ahead of Zaharias) and 1952, and finishing second five times. She also won the U.S. LPGA tournament in 1957, winning the Vare trophy in that same year for low stroke average, and led the LPGA in tournament winnings in 1953 and 1960. Three times she won the Titleholders championship and the North and South tournament.

      In 1961 Suggs got the chance to prove her theory that women golfers could compete against men when given a fair chance to go tee to green in one stroke. In a mixed game held in Palm Beach, Florida, Suggs triumphed over 5 professional women and 12 professional men including Sam Snead (Snead, Sam).

      A founding member of the LPGA, Suggs served as the organization's president three times. During the 1990s she continued to play in senior championships and win recognition for her contributions to the sport. Suggs wrote Golf for Women (1960).

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Universalium. 2010.

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