Herbert Warren Wind once said that Betty Jameson and Ben Hogan could hit a golf ball straighter than anybody he had ever seen. But Jameson, unlike Hogan, never achieved fame and fortune playing golf, which is exactly why she may have been the proudest woman in America on July 10. In 1950 she and 12 other female golfers (including Babe Didrikson Zaharias) founded the LPGA, which would help set the stage for women's professional tennis, Title IX and the jaw-dropping scene she saw on her television on that July afternoon: a gorgeous blimp shot of the Rose Bowl, filled with 90,185 fans, all of them there to watch a women's sporting event. "I was just glued to my TV," says Jameson, 80. "It was the most thrilling thing I've ever seen."
Jameson screamed with delight when Brandi Chastain made the World Cup-winning penalty kick, and she got chills again upon meeting the U.S. team in October, when the Women's Sports Foundation inducted Jameson into its Hall of Fame. "It's a sisterhood," Jameson says of the bond she shares with her fellow pioneers. "There's such a charm and exuberance about these girls. I was just in awe of them."