Beth Daniel

Amy Alcott and Beth Daniel immediately met the criteria for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Daniel, however, postponed her official induction until 2000 for reasons of symmetry. Along with 2000 being the 50th anniversary of the LPGA Tour, it was also the year her parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and the date of her induction was her brother’s 50th birthday. So, at last, she was ready to celebrate. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., Daniel fondly remembers being six years old and playing about a half a hole behind her parents and trying to catch up to them. “From the first time I played the game I was addicted to it and I just loved it and wanted to be as good as I could be at it,” Daniel recalled.Daniel first made waves in the golf world in 1975 when she won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in her first appearance in the event. “I was thinking I was going there just to get some experience. I never expected to win,” said Daniel. “When I won, I thought this is it. This is the stepping stone. This is the first step that I’ve taken to become a really great player. Winning the Amateur really started my golf career.” Daniel is particularly proud of winning the Women’s Amateur for a second time. “The win in 1977 meant more to me because I knew what was going on. The first time I had no clue. I just kept playing golf. The second time I knew exactly what was going on and I was still able to win,” said Daniel. Joining the professional circuit in 1979, Daniel was named the LPGA Rookie of the Year. In her second season, she won four times and was named Rolex Player of the Year. Daniel’s continued success brought her nine more wins through 1985 and made her the tour’s eighth millionaire. Back problems hampered her swing and her play for several years in the mid-80s and she missed part of the 1988 season with mononucleosis. She suffered through a 41/2-year winless drought before rebounding better than ever. Alas, 1990 was a banner year for Daniel. She dominated the LPGA Tour, capturing seven titles, setting a single-season earnings record and winning the Rolex Player of the Year award for a second time. Her rise to the pinnacle of her profession was duly noted when she was named Female Athlete of the Year by United Press International. Daniel rallied to win her first major with a final-round 66 in the LPGA Championship to highlight her remarkable season.

 

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