PINEHURST, N.C. — After the passing of Mickey Wright earlier this month, many of her impressive playing accomplishments resurfaced, including her stellar record in the U.S. Women’s Open. Not only did the LPGA Hall of Famer with the championship a record-tying for times (1958, 1959, 1961 and 1964), she also had seven top-three finishes and 10 top fives.
In recognition of her success in the championship, the USGA announced on Saturday at its Annual Meeting at Pinehurst Resort that it was naming the gold medal presented to the Women’s Open winner after Wright. Starting with the 75th playing this June at Champions Golf Club in Houston, the champion will receive the Mickey Wright Medal.
As part of the tribute, the USGA is redesigning one side of the medal with Wright’s name and likeness, as it did with the U.S. Open gold medal when it named in honor of Jack Nicklaus in 2012.
“Mickey exemplified what it means to be a USGA champion both on and off the course,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “Naming the U.S. Women’s Open champion’s medal after Mickey, in a milestone anniversary year for the championship, is a fitting way to honor the breadth of her accomplishments and contributions to the game of golf. She embodied what it means to be a U.S. Women’s Open competitor and champion, showing mental toughness, exquisite shot-making and exceptional course management. We are so honored to have had the relationship with her that we did.”
Davis said that the honor was something the USGA had been considering before Wright’s death at age 85. The association had already extended its respect for Wright with the establishment of the Mickey Wright Room at the USGA Golf Museum in Liberty Corner, N.J., in 2012. Wright was the fourth golfer at the time, and first female, to be honored with her own exhibition space.
Wright, who won 82 LPGA Tour titles in her career, including 13 majors, also won the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur conducted by the USGA in 1952 and received the Bob Jones Award, the USGA’s highest honor in 2010.
“The USGA has been a big part of my life since 1950 when I played in my first Girls’ Junior,” Wright said in 2012. “To win five of their championships, the U.S. Girls’ Junior and four Women’s Opens, has always been my most cherished accomplishment in golf. My only regret was not being able to win a fifth Women’s Open. Someday, perhaps, someone will.”