|Born||February 22, 1923|
|Died||December 23, 1966 (aged 43)|
|Best results in LPGA major championships|
|Titleholders C'ship||T5: 1946|
|U.S. Women's Open||T2: 1947|
Sally Sessions (February 22, 1923 – December 23, 1966) was an American golfer. Sessions tied for second place in the 1947 U.S. Women's Open as an amateur, and was one of the 13 founders of the LPGA Tour in 1950.
Early life and education
Sessions was born on February 22, 1923, and attended North Muskegon High School in the late 1930s. She was a tennis player in high school, winning a Michigan novice state championship when she was 16 years old; she also played basketball and softball. After Sessions was grounded for "sneaking off to play tennis in Grand Rapids", she took up golf.
Later, Sessions decided to pursue golf exclusively. She won a state junior title in 1941. The following year, she won the Western Michigan Women's event and made the quarterfinal round of the Women's Western Amateur. Although major golf tournaments were canceled the next few years because of World War II, Sessions remained active in local tournaments. In 1944, she was the medalist in qualifying for the Women's Western Amateur. Two years later, Sessions earned a Michigan state championship, and tied for fifth at the 1946 Titleholders Championship.
In 1947, Sessions competed in national events while retaining her amateur status. At the 1947 U.S. Women's Open, Sessions completed four 18-hole rounds in 301 strokes. Her total gave her a second-place tie with fellow amateur Polly Riley, six strokes behind winner Betty Jameson. Sessions became the Mexican Open champion later in the year, and recorded an under-par round at Pinehurst Country Club, becoming the first female player to accomplish the feat.
In early 1948, she turned professional. That year, she posted a top-10 finish in the U.S. Women's Open. In 1949, Sessions had her highest tournament finish as a professional: fifth place at the All American Open. Ill from leukemia that had not been diagnosed, she stopped playing professionally after that season.
Although her career as a competitive golfer had ended, Sessions was one of the 13 founders of the LPGA Tour when the organization was formed in 1950. She was named one of the first two treasurers of the LPGA, along with Jameson. Sessions was a Wilson Sporting Goods staff professional, touring the U.S. to take part in golf clinics for the company. She became an athletic director in the Detroit school system. On December 23, 1966, she died in Detroit at the age of 43.
Awards and honors
- "Class of 1987". Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- LeMieux, Dave (August 9, 2010). "Looking Back: Sally Sessions captures title". Muskegon Chronicle. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- "Sally Sessions Sets Pace in Western Golf". The Washington Post. Associated Press. August 8, 1944. p. 8.
- "Founders and Pioneers". LPGA. March 6, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- "Suggs Wins Titleholders Golf Event". St. Petersburg Times. United Press. April 13, 1946. p. 12. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- "Betty Jameson Fires 70 for Open Title". The Register-Guard. United Press. June 30, 1947. p. 9. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- "Babe Zaharias Cops National". St. Joseph Gazette. Associated Press. August 16, 1948. p. 7. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- Hudson, David L. (2008). Women in Golf: The Players, the History, and the Future of the Sport. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-275-99784-7.
- "Sally Sessions". Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 13, 2017.