JoAnne ‘Big Mama’ Carner, 79, shoots her age in U.S. Senior Women’s Open first round

Hall of Fame golfer JoAnne “Big Mama” Carner, 79, didn’t show her age on Thursday in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open. Instead, Carner shot her age. 

Puffing a cigarette and regularly hitting the ball more than 200 yards, Carner gave an eye-raising performance by shooting a first-round 79 on the par-73 event at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill.

Carner told multiple media outlets that she hadn’t walked a golf course since probably 2004 and quipped: “Do I look like I hit the gym?” 

The oldest player in the 50-and-older tournament, she accomplished the feat by making a birdie the 18th hole. She opened her round Thursday with four consecutive bogeys on the front nine but used four birdies on the back nine to get back to an eventual 6-over 79, which strongly positioned her for the 36-hole cut. 

Carner won two U.S. Opens and 41 LPGA events throughout her career as an eight-time USGA champion, earning her a spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1982. 

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