The list of notable USGA champions crowned in Oklahoma
includes Tommy Bolt, Donna Caponi, JoAnne Gunderson Carner, Hubert Green, Gene
Littler and Babe Didrikson Zaharias, all of whom are enshrined in the World
Golf Hall of Fame. Others such as Bob Murphy, Jan Stephenson, Retief Goosen and
Scott Verplank enjoyed distinguished professional careers, while two others – Pearl
Sinn and Byeong-Hun An – were record-setters. And Cindy Scholefield claimed the
inaugural U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, which
is the site of three U.S. Open Championships.
Perhaps the most memorable USGA championship conducted in
Oklahoma was the 1977 U.S. Open at Southern Hills. It wasn’t just notable for
the winner (Green), but for what occurred during the final round. As he stepped
off the 14th green, Green was approached by USGA officials and a lieutenant
with the Tulsa police, who informed him that someone had phoned in a death threat.