Remembering Golf Legend Mickey Wright
Mickey Wright, winner of 13 major championships and 82 titles on the LPGA Tour, has died at the age of 85.
The American legend was a hugely dominant figure in the game throughout the 1960s, securing at least one LPGA title for 14 straight seasons, from 1956 to 1969. She won 10 events in both 1961 and 1962, 13 in 1963, and 11 in 1964.
Possessing a fluid and technically sound golf swing that the great Ben Hogan described as being the best in the world, Wright stands as arguably the finest player in the history of women's golf, her already impressive achievements enhanced even further when it's considered that retirement from full-time play came calling at just 34.
Born in San Diego, California, Wright turned professional in 1954 after losing the final of the U.S. Women's Amateur, claiming her maiden victory on the fledgling LPGA circuit in 1956 at the Jacksonville Open. Driven by a pursuit of perfection - reminiscent of Hogan - her first major triumph came at the LPGA Championship and U.S. Women's Open two years later, with the last coming at the now defunct Women's Western Open in 1966.
“For the fundamentals, the greatest swing belonged to Mickey Wright.” - Byron Nelson— U.S. Women's Open (USGA) (@uswomensopen) February 14, 2020
Happy birthday to the woman with the greatest swing! pic.twitter.com/Sk8rEBoNrj
“She had the finest golf swing I ever saw,” Ben Hogan
Later in life, the accolades deservedly came for Wright, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964, she was ranked as the ninth greatest golfer of all-time by Golf Digest in 2000, the leading woman in the standings, a position replicated in Golf Magazine's own survey that was published a decade later.
Comparing the ability of golfers across generations is an impossible task, all we have are the records, in which Mickey Wright stands tall. Only the legendary Texan Kathy Whitworth has more wins on the LPGA Tour, while Patty Berg's 15 majors just edge out Wright's 13, albeit that status has changed throughout the decades in women's golf. However, they would have all said that Mickey was the best of them all.
Ultimately, Mickey Wright will be remembered as one of the ancient game's most gifted exponents, a giant of the LPGA, but more than that, she was a link back to a golden era with a golf swing that will be immortalised for generations to come.
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