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Marilynn Smith elected to Hall of Fame

LPGA pioneer Marilynn Smith will become a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame on Oct. 30 as part of the class of 2006, officials said on Wednesday.

A winner of 21 LPGA Tour titles, Smith was selected through the lifetime achievement category by the World Golf Foundation (WGF) board of directors selection committee.

"I was surprised, humbled, overwhelmed and absolutely thrilled to get the call that I had been selected to receive this great honour from the World Golf Hall of Fame," Smith, 77, said in a statement.

"This is an incredible gift, particularly at this stage of my life."

One of 13 founders of the LPGA in 1950, Smith served as LPGA president from 1958 to 1960.

She played tournament golf in five consecutive decades, starting in the 1940s. Her career haul of 21 titles included the 1963 and 1964 Titleholders Championships, which were then considered majors.

She claimed her first LPGA victory at the 1954 Fort Wayne Open and became the first player in LPGA history to record a double eagle (albatross) at the 1971 Lady Carling Open.

Nicknamed "Miss Personality", Smith is acknowledged as one of the game's greatest ambassadors and has conducted more than 4,000 golf clinics worldwide since 1949.

"Marilynn has given her heart, soul and time to this game for decades," LPGA commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens said.

Smith will be inducted at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida along with Vijay Singh, Larry Nelson and (posthumously) Henry Picard.

Former major champions Singh and Nelson were elected on the PGA Tour ballot while Picard, winner of the 1938 U.S. Masters, was selected through the veterans' category.



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