LPGA Bluegrass Invitational Golf Tournament Winners, History

The Bluegrass Invitational was a women's professional golf tournament on the LPGA Tour, played annually in Kentucky in the 1960s and 1970s. One of the biggest controversies in LPGA history began in this tournament.

First played: 1965

Last played: 1974

Before we get to the controversy, a few tournament notes about the Bluegrass Invitational. In 10 years, there were only six winners, because Mickey Wright won three times, Donna Caponi twice and JoAnne Carner twice. Of the six winners, only Kathy Cornelius is not in the World Golf Hall of Fame today.

Wright's win in 1969 was the second-to-last of her career (she won once more in 1973). It was her 81st LPGA win, a record at the time that was eventually broken by Kathy Whitworth. Cornelius, whose six LPGA wins spanned from 1956 to 1973, also had her second-to-last win here.

Wright set the tournament scoring record of 208 in 1967, and her 10-stroke win in 1966 is the event's record for margin-of-victory.

Now, the controversy: Following the second round of the 1972 Bluegrass Invitational, Jane Blalock was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. She was accused of incorrectly marking her ball on the 17th hole — she replaced her ball closer to the hole than she marked it, tournament officials concluded — and because she did not apply a 2-stroke penalty to her score, she signed for an incorrect score.

Two weeks later, Blalock was suspended by the LPGA Tour for what the tour said were repeated such infractions: moving her ball closer to the hole when replacing the ball on the green after marking.

Blalock filed a lawsuit against the LPGA Tour, a suit she eventually won, including being awarded damages. The incident led to the LPGA Tour creating the position of commissioner.

Also known as: Kentucky is "the bluegrass state," so that word was always in the tournament's name. In Year 1, though, they spelled it as two words: Blue Grass Invitational. It was also called the Bluegrass Ladies Invitational for two years, in 1966 and 1968.

Winners of the LPGA Bluegrass Invitational

1965 — Kathy Whitworth, 213
1966 — Mickey Wright, 210
1967 — Mickey Wright, 208
1968 — Carol Mann, 210
1969 — Mickey Wright, 216 (def. Betsy Rawls in playoff)
1970 — Donna Caponi, 214
1971 — JoAnne Carner, 210
1972 — Kathy Cornelius, 211 (def. Gloria Ehret in playoff)
1973 — Donna Caponi, 216
1974 — JoAnne Carner, 216 (def. Sandra Spuzich in playoff)

Golf course: The LPGA Bluegrass Invitational was played every year at Hunting Creek Country Club in Prospect, Kentucky, outside Louisville.

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