Beverly Hanson, 1950 U.S. Women's Amateur Champion, Passes Away

April 18, 2014

Following her tremendous success in the amateur ranks, Beverly Hanson would go on to have a terrific professional career that included wins in three major championships. (USGA Archives)

Beverly Hanson, who won the 1950 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and was a member of the victorious 1950 USA Curtis Cup Team before embarking on a successful professional career, died on April 12 in Twin Falls, Idaho, from complications of Alzheimer’s and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 89 years old.

Born on Dec. 5, 1924, in Fargo, N.D., Hanson studied at the University of North Dakota, Mills College in Oakland, Calif., and the University of Wisconsin.

As an amateur golfer, Hanson captured the 1949 Texas Open and both the California and Southern California women’s championships. She also competed in the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1946-50, claiming victory in 1950 on the East Lake Course of the Atlanta Athletic Club by defeating Mae Murray, 6 and 4, in the 36-hole championship match. She had been a semifinalist in 1948 at Del Monte Golf & Country Club in Pebble Beach, Calif., falling to Helen Sigel, 6 and 5.

Two weeks earlier, Hanson helped lead the USA to a 7½-1½ Curtis Cup triumph over Great Britain and Ireland at the Country Club of Buffalo in Williamsville, N.Y. Hanson went 2-0, joining forces with Dorothy Porter for a 3-and-2 foursomes win and then defeating Jean Donald in singles, 6 and 5.

Hanson turned pro the following year and won 17 LPGA Tour events, including three major championships, including the inaugural LPGA Championship in 1955 with a 4-and-3 win over Louise Suggs. She beat Suggs by four strokes to win the 1956 Women’s Western Open and Betty Dodd by five shots to win the 1958 Titleholders Championship.  Her last LPGA Tour win came at the 1960 St. Petersburg (Fla.) Open.

Hanson also competed in 16 U.S. Women’s Opens – 14 consecutively from 1948-61 – with her best finish coming in 1952 (fourth). Her last Women’s Open appearance came in 1964.

A memorial service will be held April 25 at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Calif.

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