Looking Back: Colgate European Open Tournament on the LPGA

The Colgate European Open was a golf tournament for the world's best women professionals, played in England and part of the LPGA Tour. It was played six years in the 1970s.

First played: 1974

Last played: 1979

All the winners of this tournament went on to become members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Two of them, Judy Rankin and Nancy Lopez, won the tournament twice each. When Rankin won her second in 1977, Lopez was the runner-up. Lopez then won the final two years this event was played.

The Colgate European Open was an unofficial-money event for LPGA players its first two years, 1974-75, but became an official LPGA tournament beginning in 1976. So when Chako Higuchi won in 1976, she became the first Japanese winner in LPGA Tour history.

The tournament's 72-hole scoring record of 281 was set by Rankin in 1977. Higuchi had the largest margin of victory, six strokes over runners-up Kathy Whitworth and Sandra Palmer in 1976.

Colgate sponsored multiple LPGA tournaments annually during the Colgate European Open's run, but when the company cut back on its sports spending, the event was discontinued.

Also known as: The tournament was named the Colgate-American/European Open its first year, the Colgate European Ladies Open in Year 2, and the Colgate European Women's Open in 1977.

Winners of the Colgate European Open

1979 — Nancy Lopez, 282
1978 — Nancy Lopez, 289
1977 — Judy Rankin, 281
1976 — Chako Higuchi, 284
1975 — Donna Caponi, 283
1974 — Judy Rankin, 218

Golf course: The tournament was played all six years at Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire, England.

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