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If you’re someone who gets frustrated about how hard the game of golf is, this story may not be for you. JoAnne Carner, who turned 84-years-old in April, is teeing it up in this week’s U.S. Senior Women’s Open and bested her age by a whopping four shots during Thursday’s opening round.
Carner beat 30 (!!!) players in the tournament field in the opening round at Waverly Country Club in Portland, Oregon.
While some golf hardos may point to the fact that the ladies are playing a course less than 6,000 yards this week, we’re talking about women here who are 50-years-old or older, and a woman born in the 1930s shooting an 8-over par 80 in a tournament setting.
Carner, who began her round on the back nine on Thursday, was three over par through three holes, but settled into her round by shooting 41 on the back.
While the day as a whole was a highlight, the shot of the day came on her final hole, the Par 3 ninth. Carner stepped up to the 123-yard hole and knocked it to two feet for a tap-in birdie and a 39 on her final nine holes.
The sheer number of people who are half Carner’s age who have dreamt of breaking 40 on nine holes is mind-numbing.
I hope my heart is still beating at the age of 84 while Carner is still competing in USGA events. Talk about an athlete.
Carner, an Arizona State graduate, turned professional in 1970 before picking up 43 LPGA Tour titles, including a pair of U.S. Women’s Open victories in 1971 and 1976.
The Kirkland, Wash. native ticked off just about every box imaginable in her career. She was named LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year, led the money list on three different occasions, was LPGA Tour Player of the Year three times, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris