Skip to main content

LPGA Founder Berg Remembered as Golf Advocate

Ladies Professional Golf AssociationFORT MYERS, Fla. -- Patty Berg, the golf pioneer and founding member of the LPGA Tour, was remembered at funeral services Saturday as an advocate for the game.
Berg, who won an LPGA Tour-record 15 major titles, died Sept. 10 of complications from Alzheimer's disease. She was 88.
She was one of the 13 founding members of the tour in 1950 and served as its first president. The diminutive Minnesotan was the money leader in 1954, '55 and '57 and ended her career with 60 victories. She is a member of the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame.
'As much as Patty gave to the LPGA in its founding, the LPGA has given back to her and will give back in the future in the form of its continuing professionalism, its emphasis of fun in golf, and its push to expand junior golf, all things that Patty was very close to, very involved in,' Berg's grandnephew, Emmett Berg, told the Naples Daily News for Sunday's edition.
A gold set of golf clubs in a gold bag stood near Berg's portrait at the Church of the Resurrection of Our Lord, where she was a founding member in 1974. After the service, pallbearers, including fellow tour founders Louise Suggs and Betty Jameson, tossed golf balls into the grave with Berg's casket.
'You can't think about Patty without smiling somehow, and thinking about what a wonderful lady she was. This is such a great legacy that she's left us,' said Kathy Whitworth, the career leader in professional victories with 88.
Berg also was remembered for her contributions to charity, including the Patty Berg Cancer Center that was dedicated in 1993 in Fort Myers.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.