Golf Australia

Jan Stephenson earns hall of fame honour

Jan Stephenson
Jan Stephenson was a superstar player in the 1970s and 1980s. Image: Getty

 

Another Australian is to join the World Golf Hall of Fame, with three-time major championship winner Jan Stephenson among the five to be inducted next year.

Stephenson, Peggy Kirk Bell, Retief Goosen, Billy Payne, Jan Stephenson and Dennis Walters are the inductees for 2019.

She joins Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, Karrie Webb, Walter Travis, David Graham and Greg Norman in the hall of fame, which is in Ponta Vedra Beach, Florida.

"It's really important for Australian women to see this," Stephenson told AAP today. "Hopefully for female junior golfers in Australia, this shows how important it is to have golf in your life ... even if you don't make the (LPGA) Tour it's a wonderful sport.

"I'm so emotional; I've been crying, (getting) goosebumps, I couldn't sleep. It was like winning the (1983) US Open all over again."

Sydneysider Stephenson, now 66, won 16 LPGA Tour titles including her three majors in the 1970s and 1980s. She was the face of women’s golf for a time, famously posing nude in a bath full of golf balls in what turned out to be an iconic golf photograph.

She also dated Donald Trump before he became the president of the United States.

“Life would have been so different," Stephenson said.

"Somebody asked (Trump) that when were playing golf (together) and he (joked), 'We would have already been divorced by now'. I try to imagine what it would have been like, because ... I wouldn't have been able to play golf (and) I don't think I would have got in the Hall of Fame.

"But he was actually very supportive of my career."


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