challenged her father's family record of consecutive successful strokes from a
distance of eight feet. After holing over 600 in a row, Marlene muffed, leaving
papa's mark of 800 intact.
Asked about back
fatigue in this two-hour putting stint, Marlene answered, "No, I didn't get
tired. I stopped to rest once."
But even such
resignation to tedium had brought Marlene Bauer no impressive tournament
rewards in professional golf. That was until last January, when she returned to
competition after a six-month layoff. In the interim Marlene married her sister
Alice's ex-husband, Bob Hagge. Since Alice and Hagge had had a daughter, Heide,
Marlene thus became her own niece's stepmother, a transition which jarred the
close-knit Bauer family only temporarily.
LEAP TO THE
Almost at once
Marlene jumped to the No. 1 spot on the dollar list, but her competitors
presumed the spurt might be temporary. When she won three straight major
tournaments—Pittsburgh Open, Triangle Round Robin, and LPGA championship—they
began preparing their answers.
two guys following her," said one, referring to Hagge and business
associate Harry Hovey. (They're hotel-building in Asheville, North Carolina.)
"They gallery her and cheer for her and tell her she's great and never chew
her out for bad rounds. They make her want to play better and they make her
think she can."
was in marked contrast with the stern disciplines imposed upon her by her
perfectionist father, Dave. So strong is his influence that even after winning
the LPGA championship Marlene told friends that she thought she had played
well, "but probably Daddy doesn't think so."
in 1956's money winning is Louise Suggs, herself a former leading money winner
and, with Patty Berg, the troupe's most consistent performer.
The intensity of
Louise's efforts is not evident in her swing, the most esthetically pleasing
one of them all, nor in her course mannerisms. Outwardly she appears nerveless
and confidently efficient, which she definitely is not.
Louise is one of
the great women golfers of all time. But by her own reticence she has robbed
herself of the recognition her shot-making skill should have earned her. Also
she plays a less spectacular brand of golf than that of some of her more
colorful contemporaries. Her swing never varies, which gives her game an
impersonal mechanical appearance. She plays without histrionics, and with no
more emotional display than an occasional darkly threatening gesture toward a
putt which is about to drop. She has steadfastly refused to merchandise herself
to golf fans.