Jenny Lucas was honoured at the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath as The R&A celebrated her trailblazing career in the women’s game.
Jenny, nee Lee Smith, was one of the leading lights in the early women’s professional golf – playing on the embryonic WPGA tour and the US LPGA, and winning two WPGA order of merit titles.
Based at Gosforth Park Golf Centre for much of her early career, she was also the first winner of the Women’s Open in 1976 at Fulford.
“It was quite a day,” said Jenny, who was a guest in the Champions’ Marquee along with her family. There they were interviewed by the media, given a tour of the player facilities, and met the players including winner Lilia Vu.
“It was nothing short of fabulous,” added Jenny. “Times have changed, and I can confirm things are much better for the players – quite different to 47 years ago when I won at Fulford.
“The great surprise came in the players locker room – walking into Champions’ Corner to see my name on the first locker. I was also shown the programme from the Open I won at Fulford, and I must admit I started to well up a bit.
“I also met up with some old friends and made some new ones. When the final putt was holed, we were invited to a champagne reception for the winner and I met Lilia, who was lovely and insisted I held the trophy with her. I also met Charlotte Heath, who won the leading amateur medal.
“What a very busy and memorable day – one I shall treasure for the rest of my life.”