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HOFer JoAnne Carner Shoots Same Score as Her Age, 79, at 1st Women's Senior Open

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2018

PHOENIX - MARCH 20:  Joanne Carner hits a shot during the first round of the SAFEWAY PING at Moon Valley C.C. on March 20, 2003 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Elaine Crosby holds the lead after the first round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois, but JoAnne Carner made plenty of headlines as well.

According to ESPN.com, the 79-year-old Carner shot her age, a six-over 79, in the first round.

The Hall of Famer is the oldest player in a field limited to women 50 years old and older, and she's still within nine strokes of Crosby after the leader shot a three-under 70. The ESPN.com report noted she started the tournament with the first shot, but she looked like far more than an honorary competitor when she notched three birdies on the back nine alone.

Carner's legacy is already well-established as a 43-time winner on the LPGA Tour and the only woman with victories at the U.S. Girls' Junior, U.S. Women's Amateur and U.S. Women's Open. She has been a Hall of Famer since 1982.

What makes her outing Thursday all the more impressive is the fact that she hasn't walked a full course since 2004, as Beth Ann Nichols of Golfweek shared while capturing a highlight of her swing:

Beth Ann Nichols @GolfweekNichols

JoAnne Carner, 79, hasn't walked a golf course since 2004. She comes to No. 18, with no cart, needing birdie to shoot her age. My hero! https://t.co/sPWCDhmTfq

It would figure Carner was satisfied with her round, but Nichols noted she went to the range following her performance. "Really, I can shoot this course under par," Carner said.  

If she does, Crosby and the rest of the leaders better be on the lookout.

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