By David Shefter, USGA
As we celebrate National Women’s History Month, the USGA is highlighting five significant players who captured multiple U.S. Women’s Open titles. This week, it’s JoAnne Carner.
When JoAnne Carner went wire to wire to win the 1971 U.S. Women’s Open at The Kahkwa Club in Erie, Pa., she became the first player to have captured the U.S. Girls’ Junior, U.S. Women’s Amateur and Women’s Open titles. Her feat came three decades before Tiger Woods registered the male equivalent. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Carol Semple Thompson are the only other golfers who have won three different USGA titles.
Related JoAnne Carner Videos On U.S. Women’s Open Timeline
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Unlike today’s players, Carner won five U.S. Women’s Amateur titles before turning professional just prior to her 30th birthday in 1970. In 1971, she won the first of her two U.S. Women’s Open titles by seven strokes over Kathy Whitworth. Five years later at Rolling Green Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia, Carner needed an 18-hole playoff to beat Sandra Palmer.
Those were Carner’s only two major championships in a career that totaled 43 LPGA Tour victories. The Kirkland, Wash., native was named the circuit’s player of the year in 1974, 1981 and 1982, and the USGA honored her with its Bob Jones Award in 1981, one year before she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
At age 81, Carner remains active in the game. At the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2018 at Chicago Golf Club, she shot her age (79) in the opening round. She competed again the following year at Pine Needles.