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Marilynn Smith

Died: Marilynn Smith, one of the 13 founders of the LPGA, on Tuesday morning. She was 89. No cause of death was cited by the LPGA. Smith helped create the LPGA in 1950 and won 21 times, including two major championships. She served as president of the LPGA from 1958 to 1960. Smith was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006. Smith was born in Topeka, Kan., and was raised in Wichita. She was a three-time Kansas State Amateur champion and attended college at Kansas, which did not field a women’s golf team. In 1949, she wanted to play in the national intercollegiate tournament in Columbus, Ohio, and her father approached Phog Allen, the legendary basketball coach who also served as athletic director, for assistance with expenses. Allen’s response, according to media reports, would shape Smith’s life: “Mr. Smith, it’s too bad your daughter is not a boy.” Smith won the tournament anyway. In recent years, the Marilynn Smith Charity Pro-Am has raised scholarship money to help female golfers meet their college expenses. In a statement issued by the LPGA, commissioner Mike Whan said: “For the LPGA family, Marilynn was special in every way. She was our founder, our north star and most importantly, our friend. In her life, she broke barriers, shattered stereotypes and made others ‘believe.’ I'll miss her weekly handwritten cards, her daily calls to the office and her love for every LPGA teacher, player and staff member. Quite simply, Marilynn left this world better than she found it – and set a standard that will guide us forever.”


Issued: By the USGA and the R&A, a clarification to Rule 4.1b that allows players to replace a broken or significantly damaged club, except in cases of abuse.