Looking Back: Desert Inn Classic (Sealy LPGA Classic)

The Desert Inn Classic, originally called the Sealy LPGA Classic, was a golf tournament on the LPGA Tour. It was played in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the early 1970s.

First played: 1971

Last played: 1974

The tournament was a celebrity pro-am, and being played in Las Vegas there was never a shortage of well-known celebrities ready to play.

In 1972 there were only four holes-in-one recorded all year on the LPGA Tour. But two of them happened in the Sealy LPGA Classic. Murle Breer plus the champion, Betty Burfeindt, both made ades.

The inaugural champion in 1971 was Sandra Palmer, who finished her LPGA career with 19 victories. This was her very first win. Palmer beat runner-up Donna Caponi by two strokes when she made eagle on the tournament's final hole.

Kathy Cornelius, 1956 U.S. Women's Open champ, earned her final LPGA victory in 1973 by winning a playoff against Judy Rankin after Rankin missed a 2½-foot putt on the first sudden-death hole. Cornelius opened her final round with two bogeys, but she credited the celebrities in her group, James Garner and Efram Zimbalist Jr., with helping her right the ship.

Also known as: This tournament was named the Sealy LPGA Classic in its first two years. In 1973 Faberge joined as a co-title sponsor, making it the Sealy-Faberge Classic. It was the Desert Inn Classic its final year.

Winners of the Sealy LPGA Classic/Desert Inn Classic

1971 — Sandra Palmer, 289
1972 — Betty Burfeindt, 282
1973 — Kathy Cornelius, 217 (def. Judy Rankin in playoff)
1974 — JoAnne Carner, 284

Golf course: The tournament was played all four years at the Desert Inn Country Club in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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