Rankin, who collected 26 career wins as a professional, has also recently been named to the World Golf and LPGA Tour Halls of Fame. She will receive the Bob Jones Award in a ceremony at the USGA's annual meeting in Colorado Feb. 2.
'This is an enormous honor,' said Rankin. 'Being a golfer since childhood has given me so many great experiences and opportunities. The game has meant so much to my family and me. I hope I have made the game a good experience for others and that they love it, too.'
In 1976, Rankin became the first LPGA player to earn over $100,000 in a single season. That year she won seven times and set a tour record with 25 top-10 finishes.
The 56-year-old earned the 1998 William and Mousie Powell Award for displaying the spirit, ideals and values of the LPGA. She also received the William Richardson Award for her lifetime contribution to golf from the Golf Writers Association of America, the PGA of America First Lady of Golf Award, and was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
'Judy has always given of herself and her time in order to promote the game of golf,' said LPGA Commissioner Ty Votaw. 'In my mind, she embodies all of the qualities for which the Bob Jones Award stands - respect for the game and its rules, a generosity of spirit, a sense of fair play, self-control and even self-sacrifice.'
Rankin currently works as a television golf commentator for ABC and ESPN.
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