US Women's Open winner's medal named after Mickey Wright
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US Women’s Open winner’s medal named after Mickey Wright

In honor of Mickey Wright, who recently passed away at the age of 85, the USGA is renaming the US Women's Open champion's medal after perhaps the greatest female golfer of all-time.

Golfweek reported on the honor.

The medal had been given to the US Women's Open winner dating back to the start of USGA conducting the championship in 1953, but it wasn't named after anyone. With this year marking the 75th US Women's Open, the USGA was looking for a way to honor the event's past and landed on the honor for Wright, who won the US Women's Open a record-tying four times (1958, 1959, 1961, 1964). She was the first player to win consecutive US Women's Open titles.

Betsy Rawls, a contemporary and great friend of Wright, also won four times.

Wright, who won 82 LPGA titles and 13 majors in her career, died on Feb. 17. In 1962, she became the first player to hold all four women's major championships concurrently.

The USGA had been planning this honor but had not been able to reach her before her passing to tell her of the news. Wright, the only woman with a full exhibition room in her honor at the USGA museum, held her USGA championships in high esteem.

“The USGA has been a big part of my life since 1950 when I played in my first Girls’ Junior,” Wright said in 2012. “To win five of their championships, the US Girls’ Junior and four Women’s Opens, has always been my most cherished accomplishment in golf. My only regret was not being able to win a fifth Women’s Open. Someday, perhaps, someone will.”

The legend becomes the second person to have a USGA medal named in their honor. In 2012, the USGA named the US Open champion's medal after Jack Nicklaus.

“Mickey exemplified what it means to be a USGA champion both on and off the course,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “Naming the U.S. Women’s Open champion’s medal after Mickey, in a milestone anniversary year for the championship, is a fitting way to honor the breadth of her accomplishments and contributions to the game of golf. She embodied what it means to be a U.S. Women’s Open competitor and champion, showing mental toughness, exquisite shot-making and exceptional course management. We are so honored to have had the relationship with her that we did.”

The 75th US Women's Open will be played at Champions Golf Club in Houston from June 4-7.

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Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

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