“I’ll Play My Way In”
After the first two rounds of the weather delayed Wegmans LPGA Championship, 49 year old Laura Davies, is tied for 14th place six shots behind leader, Morgan Pressel. A long-shot at best to win the season’s second Major Championship, it would none the less be the perfect twilight ending for the most distinguished lady from England.
Up until recently, Laura Davies has insisted that she would try to qualify for the LPGA Hall Of Fame on her own merit. To do so would mean winning another Major Championship (worth two points), or two regular Tour events worth one point each. This would give her the 27 total points needed to qualify for Golf’s most elite Hall of Fame. Winning the Wegmans would give her those necessary two points.
At the LPGA Tour event in the Bahamas at the end of May, Davies hinted that she was reconsidering her position on entry and would perhaps allow her name to be put on a special ballot for consideration. That being the case, Davies would be an automatic selection.
Europe’s finest female professional has reached iconic status. Truth be told, she has been revered as such for a great many years already. At 49, Davies is still competing around the world and her love for the game and her swashbuckling style of play has not diminished in any way.
Davis first burst onto the center stage when she won the 1987 US Women’s Open beating fellow legends, Ayako Okamato, and JoAnne Carner in a playoff. Davies would become a member of the LPGA Tour the following year and be the Rookie of the Year winning two tournaments. She would also win three times on the Ladies European Women’s Tour (LET), and once on the Japanese LPGA Tour that year, making her the first golfer to win on three Tours in the same year.
Davies all-out approach to playing the game made her one of the most compelling players, male or female, to play the game. Davies was able to hit the ball further than any other player, and in her inimitable way, she would never use a tee when using her driver to tee off. Davies would instead create a raised area of turf on the tee and then unleash a 290+ yard drive.
Davies has won 84 professionals events in her amazing career. She has won 20 times on the LPGA Tour, including 4 Major Championships, 45 times on the LET, 8 times on the ALPGA (Australian) Tour, and 6 times on the LPGA Tour of Japan. Davies has been a global ambassador for the game, but has always remained loyal to the LET. Davies won the LET’S Order of Merit (money list) 7 times, but in doing so that limited her LPGA schedule to 10 or so events each year. Had Davies played the LPGA Tour exclusively, she would certainly have recorded more than 20 wins.
Since its inception in 1990, Davies has played on each one of the 12 European teams in the Solheim Cup. She is the leading point winner in the history of the Cup matches and still hopes to be part of the 2013 team at Colorado National Golf Club in August of this year.
Thursdays’ first round of the Wegmans was cancelled due to torrential rain which has left the golf course play even longer than usual. It also means that the players will play a marathon 36-hole finale on Sunday which may not favor the elder stateswoman, Davies, who would tell you that she just likes having the chance to compete regardless of the outcome.
Davies represents all that is good about golf and why it is the game for a lifetime. Her induction into both the LPGA and Golf Halls of Fame is a foregone conclusion, but it would be very special indeed if she managed to do it on her terms and she “played my way in.”