May 18, 2023

Kathy Cornelius - Part 2 (The 1956 Women's U.S. Open)

Kathy Cornelius - Part 2 (The 1956 Women's U.S. Open)

Kathy Cornelius recalls turning professional in 1953 with encouragement from her golf professional husband Bill, joining the LPGA Tour in 1956, just after its formation in 1950. Kathy recounts her early wins including her first in the 1956 St. Petersburg Open where she bested the LPGA's previous 72-hole scoring record by 6 shots! Her most significant victory however came at the 1956 Women's U.S. Open on a Donald Ross course in MN where she bested the young amateur, Barbara McIntire, in an 18-hole playoff winning the $1,500 first prize. Kathy Cornelius continues her life story, "FORE the Good of the Game."

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"FORE the Good of the Game” is a golf podcast featuring interviews with World Golf Hall of Fame members, winners of major championships and other people of influence in and around the game of golf. Highlighting the positive aspects of the game, we aim to create and provide an engaging and timeless repository of content that listeners can enjoy now and forever. Co-hosted by PGA Tour star Bruce Devlin, our podcast focuses on telling their life stories, in their voices. Join Bruce and Mike Gonzalez “FORE the Good of the Game.”

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Cornelius, KathyProfile Photo

Cornelius, Kathy

Golf Professional

Although Kathy turned pro in 1953 just after her marriage, she did not join the Tour until three years later. She won two events in her first full year, 1956, including the U.S. Open, and added five more titles later. Her best season was 1973 as she won more than $40,000 and finished eighth on the final money list. She won over $14,000 in 1980, her best since 1977, with her best finish a share of eighth in the first event of the year, the Whirlpool Championship of Deer Creek.
Kathy won the Southern Amateur championship in 1952 and was medalist in the Florida Intercollegiate in 1953. She was also runner-up in that event in both 1951 and 1953.