Texas Golf Association, Since 1906
Texas Golf Association, Since 1906

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Sandra Palmer - 1975 US Women's Open Champion

Sandra Palmer is one of a remarkable number of all-time Texas greats to hail from Fort Worth.  Standards are fairly high when your local competition includes Aniela Goldthwaite, Polly Riley, Sandra Haynie and Marty Leonard, but Palmer acquitted herself very nicely over her career and added her name along with these others to the long list of Fort Worth representatives to the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.

Although Sandra grew up in Maine, she returned to Texas to attend college at North Texas State, where she was not only a champion golfer, but also a cheerleader and homecoming queen.  On her way to a quarter-final match at the 1962 WTGA State Championship, she told the Fort Worth Press, “I only play during the summer.  During the winter, I just give up golf…too many activities and school.”  Even with her busy schedule, she was able to fill her summers with great golfing success – she was a four-time winner of the Women’s West Texas Amateur and a finalist in the Women’s Intercollegiate Championship.  She played in her first WTGA State Amateur Championship in 1959, and won the first flight as she watched her good friend Sandra Haynie win the championship.  She reached the Championship flight in 1961 and 1962 before winning her own title in 1963.

Palmer turned pro in 1964 and went on to win 17 LPGA titles and two major championships including the 1975 US Women’s Open.  She earned her US Open title by finishing four-shots ahead of Nancy Lopez and the rest of the field, and her win ensured the trophy would stay among Texans for another year – it had been with Haynie in 1974!  She almost defended her title in 1976, losing in an 18-hole playoff to JoAnne Carner.  She was the LPGA Player of the year in 1975 and finished in the top ten on the LPGA official money list for 10 consecutive years.  She was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1985 and is a Class A Member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Pro Division.

Palmer now resides in California, but will always be remembered in the Texas golf community as one of “ours”.  In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Texas Golf Association, Palmer will join her Texas peers Sandra Haynie, Carol Mann, Judy Rankin and Kathy Whitworth on the Breaking 100 Gala panel.  This collection of Texas’ greatest golfers will share an evening and share stories of their remarkable careers with golf fans and supporters on November 1 at Houston Country Club.  Click here to see a preview of the event.  Click here to purchase a ticket and join the celebration.
100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  You can honor these women and invest in the next 100 years of women's golf by contributing to the Breaking 100 campaign.  All proceeds benefit the TGA Foundations' Women's Initiatives.  Learn more and support the campaign here.
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The fabulous Sandra Palmer.
Posted by Jane Hickie on September 9, 2016 @ 5:30 pm

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