Golf Analyst / Reporter
One of the most accomplished players in LPGA history, World Golf Hall of Famer Judy Rankin joined ABC Sports’ golf broadcast team as an on-course commentator in 1984 and currently works as an analyst on ABC’s telecast of the LPGA season finale in Naples, Fla.
The 1976 and 1977 LPGA Player of the Year also won the Vare Trophy for low stroke average three times (1973, 1976 and 1977) and was the tour’s leading money-winner for 1976 and 1977. She served as the president of the LPGA in 1976 and 1977, and was a member of the LPGA board of directors in subsequent years.
In 1976, she made history when she became the first female player to win more than $100,000 in a single season. In 1973 she set a tour record for top 10 finishes in a calendar year — 25 — a mark which still stands.
A chronic back ailment plagued her in the late 1970s and she could play only sporadically in 1982 and 1983. In the fall of 1983 she was forced to stop playing for several years but had successful back surgery in 1985. In 1996 and 1998, she served as captain of the winning Solheim Cup Team.
Rankin turned professional in 1962. She started playing golf at the age of six under the guidance of her father. She holds the distinction of being the youngest low amateur in a U.S. Women’s Open, at the age of 15 in 1960.
She received golf’s highest honor, induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame, in 2000. She also is a member of several other Halls of Fame:
In 1987 she was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame and in 1993 was inducted into the All-American Hall of Fame. In 1999 she was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, received the William Richardson Award from the Golf Writers Association of America and was named First Lady of Golf by the PGA of America. In 2000, she was elected to the LPGA Hall of Fame and to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. The United States Golf Association presented her with the Bob Jones Award in 2002.
In recent years, Rankin also worked as an on-course reporter for ESPN’s telecasts of the U.S. Open and The Open Championship. In addition to her work with ABC, Rankin also serves as an analyst for Golf Channel on its telecasts of LPGA events.