Eastern Women's Open (Early LPGA Tournament)

The Eastern Open, also called the Eastern Women's Open, was a golf tournament that debuted before the LPGA Tour existed, then became part of the LPGA Tour in 1950. It was played eight times from the late 1940s into the early 1960s.

First played: 1949

Last played: 1961

In the first Eastern Open in 1949, Babe Zaharias had a 70 in the second round that the New York Times wrote "shattered all women's records." Zaharias went on to win by double-digit strokes, then finished runner-up the following two years.

In the 1950 tournament, LPGA giants Patty Berg and Zaharias duelled until Berg finished one stroke ahead. Betsy Rawls, the fourth member of the "big four" of the LPGA's first decade (along with Berg, Zaharias and Louise Suggs) won back-to-back titles in 1952-53, the tournament's only two-time champ.

In 1953 and 1955, the tournament was 72 holes. All other years it was 54 holes.

Winners of the Eastern Women's Open

1949 — Babe Zaharias
1950 — Patty Berg, 217
1951 — Beverly Hanson, 215
1952 — Betsy Rawls, 226
1953 — Betsy Rawls, 293 (def. Patty Berg in playoff)
1954 — Not played
1955 — Louise Suggs, 291
1956-59 — Not played
1960 — Mickey Wright, 213
1961 — Mary Lena Faulk, 214 (def. Mickey Wright and Jo Ann Prentice in playoff)

Golf courses: The Eastern Open debuted at Essex Fells (New Jersey) Country Club in 1949, but moved to Woodland Golf Club in Newton, Massachusetts in 1950. From 1951 on, it was played in Pennsylvania, first at Berkshire Country Club in Reading, then at Range End Country Club in Dillsburg.

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