Rankin, Judy (1945—)

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Rankin, Judy (1945—)

American golfer. Name variations: Judy Torluemke. Born Judith Torluemke in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 18, 1945; daughter of Paul Torluemke; married Yippy Rankin, in 1967; children: a son.

Was three-time winner of the Vare trophy, also held 26 LPGA victories; won the Corpus Christi Open (1968); won four LPGA events (1973); won the Colgate-Dinah Shore Open (1976); named Player of the Year (1976, 1977); won the Bent Tree Classic (1976); won the Colgate European Open (1974, 1977); won the Colgate Hong Kong Open and five other tournaments (1976); won the Peter Jackson Classic and five other tournaments (1977).

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1945, Judy Rankin was only six when she began taking golf lessons from her father. At age eight, she won her first title; at age fourteen, she was the youngest player to win the Missouri Amateur, winning it a second time in 1961, two years later. Rankin was the low amateur in the U.S. Women's Open in 1960 at age 15. Two years later, she turned pro, winning three tournaments in her third year on tour. Although she fought a back injury, Rankin won 26 LPGA victories and the Vare trophy in 1973, 1976, and 1977. She was also named Player of the Year in 1976 and 1977 and became the first woman player to win more than $100,000 in a season. In her last great season, 1977, Rankin led the LPGA Tour in earnings ($122,890) for the second straight season and tied in victories, with five. In 28 events that year, Rankin finished in the top 10 an incredible 25 times. Back problems, however, continued to plague her.

Karin Loewen Haag , Athens, Georgia