The recent death of Marlene Hagge-Vossler, who was the last of the LPGA’s 13 founders, signaled the end of an era in women’s golf.
Hagge-Vossler died May 16 in a memory-care facility in Rancho Mirage, California, where she was being treated after a recent fall. She was 89.
Marlene Bauer was only 16 in 1950 when she and her older sister, Alice Bauer, entered women’s golf lore as being among the 13 founding members of the LPGA. The Bauer sisters were billed in newspaper reports as the “glamour girls of the LPGA.”
Marlene Bauer married her sister’s ex-husband, Bob Hagge, in 1955, shortly after his divorce and competed under the name of Marlene Hagge. They divorced in 1964. She was married to Ernie Vossler, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour and course developer, from 1995 until his death in 2013.
Marlene Hagge won 26 times on tour, including the LPGA Championship during a breakout eight-victory season in 1956, when she led the tour with a then-record $20,235 in earnings. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002.
“Marlene had a very special place in the tour,” former LPGA commissioner Charlie Mechem told Larry Bohannan for a report in The Desert Sun newspaper of Palm Springs, California. “She was not only a fine player, but she was beautiful, charismatic and popular.”
In a statement, LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said Hagge-Vossler was “an impressive athlete, a fiery competitor and at a young age showed women and girls that they could achieve greatness in all areas of life.” READ MORE
American Jaye Marie Green will not compete on the LPGA for the rest of the season and might take another year off, she announced on Instagram without disclosing a reason. Green, 29, a nonwinner since joining the LPGA in 2014, has not competed since missing the cut last June at the Women’s PGA. READ MORE
LIV Golf members Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio García and Phil Mickelson have been interviewed by the U.S. Justice Department as part of its antitrust investigation of the PGA Tour, The New York Times reported. Federal investigators also recently met with PGA Tour attorneys, according to the report.
LIV Golf alleges in a lawsuit filed in federal court in California that the PGA Tour has conspired against the year-old Saudi-funded rival tour in violation of antitrust laws. The PGA Tour has countersued Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which sponsors LIV Golf, and the fund’s governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan. READ MORE
Ian Maule, Getty Images
LIV Golf won a procedural legal victory when a federal judge ruled that the PGA Tour must comply with the rules of discovery while the Saudi-funded tour’s appeal for sovereign immunity is heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard reported. READ MORE
LIV Golf fans criticized the CW Network after many local affiliates opted to switch to regular programming as the recent weather-delayed event in Oklahoma drew to a dramatic conclusion with four holes to play and three players tied for the lead. READ MORE
LIV Golf has stopped reporting TV viewership numbers in the U.S., reversing its recently outlined public strategy, Golf.com’s James Colgan reported. READ MORE
Four LIV players were entered in U.S. Open Final Qualifying in Dallas today, according to Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig. Sergio García, a Spaniard who calls Dallas home after marrying a Texan, will join Branden Grace, Graeme McDowell and Thomas Pieters in the 36-hole event at Northwood Club and Bent Tree Country Club. There will be 10 final-qualifying tournaments on Monday, June 5, to determine the field for the U.S. Open, to be played June 15-18 at Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course. READ MORE
Scott Taetsch, PGA of America
Tiger Woods won a round of his legal fight with a former live-in girlfriend and ex-employee who has filed lawsuits against the golfer and a trust that he controls. A Florida judge ruled that Erica Herman must abide by a non-disclosure agreement that she purportedly signed, meaning that her lawsuits against Woods will be resolved in private arbitration. Herman, 39, who worked for Woods at his Woods Jupiter restaurant in Jupiter, Florida, before moving into his mansion in 2016, sought to nullify the NDA via a claim of sexual harassment. In an 11-page ruling, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Metzger called the sexual allegations against Woods “vague and threadbare.” READ MORE
The average annual salary of a course superintendent in the U.S. climbed to $109,621, according to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s biennial compensation study. The average salary, gleaned from 3,200 GCSAA member responses (a 40-percent response rate), represents a 12.6-percent pay increase from the 2021 study, the association said. READ MORE
Brian “Bruno” Henning, the first commissioner of the Sunshine Tour in his native South Africa and a longtime administrator with the Senior Tour in the U.S., died May 14 in Jacksonville, Florida, according to the PGA Tour. He was 85 and recently had suffered a stroke. READ MORE
Four Southeastern Conference teams – Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Mississippi State – headlined the six regional champions to advance to the NCAA Division I men’s tournament this week. Arizona State and Georgia Tech completed the regional winners that will be among 30 teams and six individuals from non-qualifying teams to compete May 26-June 1 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Defending team champion Texas and 2022 medalist Gordon Sargent and his Vanderbilt team also will advance to the national final. READ MORE
The 2024 British Women’s Amateur will be played at Portmarnock (Ireland) Golf Club, the R&A announced. The 121st annual event was moved from Royal Birkdale because of planned course work. The tournament dates will be June 24-29. READ MORE
DP World Tour Qualifying School will be held at 14 sites beginning in late August before concluding with the final stage November 10-15 at Infinitum Resort in Tarragona. READ MORE
U.K-based Sky Sports will broadcast the U.S. Open and other USGA professional and amateur tournaments in a multiyear contract extension. READ MORE
Compiled by Steve Harmon