Oct. 12, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- On the opening night of the 16th Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships, two women's golf legends were honored at the Legends of Women's Golf banquet at Holston Hills Country Club.
Sarah LeBrun Ingram and Donna Caponi-Byrnes were recognized for their outstanding achievements in the golf world, as they paved amateur and professional paths.
Ingram received the Legends of Women's Golf amateur distinction, while Caponi-Byrnes was honored with the professional award.
Ingram developed as one of the sport's top women's amateurs in the 1990s as she claimed more national championships and played on more international golf teams than any other Tennessee golfer. She won her first national title by nine strokes at the Canadian Women's Amateur. She went on to win three U.S. Women's Amateurs while Golf Digest, Golfweek and Golf World had her tabbed as the number one amateur.
She played at Duke and has since been inducted into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame and the Tennessee State Sports Hall of Fame.
Caponi-Byrnes boasts a Hall of Fame career that spanned 24 years from 1965-1988. During that time, she collected 24 titles and four major championships. She became the second woman elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame through the LPGA Veterans Category and was later honored as the recipient of the 2009 PGA First Lady of Golf Award.
After her professional career ended in 1987, Caponi-Byrnes went on to have a successful career in golf broadcasting.
One amateur and one professional golfer have been recognized every year since the inception of the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships.
1997 - Katherine Graham (amateur), Patty Berg (professional)
1998 - Judy Bell (amateur), Louise Suggs (professional)
1999 - Alice Dye (amateur), Peggy Kirk Bell (professional)
2000 - Carolyn Cudone (amateur), JoAnne Carner (professional)
2001 - Wilma Gilliland (amateur), Kathy Whitworth (professional)
2002 - Judy Eller Street (amateur), Marilynn Smith (professional)
2003 - Carol Semple Thompson, Phyllis Semple (amateur), Renee Powell (professional)
2004 - Betty Probasco (amateur), Sandra Post (professional)
2005 - Marlene Stewart Streit (amateur), Betsy King (professional)
2006 - Dr. Mary Ann Budke (amateur), Carol Mann (professional)
2007 - Ann Furrow (amateur), Patty Sheehan (professional)
2008 - Tina Sanders (amateur)
2009 - Edean Ihlanfeldt (amateur), Jane Crafter (professional)
2010 - Lawren Just (amateur), Pat Bradley (professional)
2011 - Christie Austin (amateur), Rosie Jones (professional)