Pre-teen Katharine Gunderson, mother of Rickie Fowler, born Aug. 16, 1948

Bob Gunderson is a sports psychologist, author, special education teacher and father. Here he recounts one of his favorite memories of his daughter Katharine Gunderson Schultz, who died last week at age 67: “Katharine…

Pre-teen Katharine Gunderson, mother of Rickie Fowler, born Aug. 16, 1948

Bob Gunderson is a sports psychologist, author, special education teacher and father. Here he recounts one of his favorite memories of his daughter Katharine Gunderson Schultz, who died last week at age 67:

“Katharine was brilliant, and brilliant women are a rarity. She took playing golf up to a scholarly level. She was also amazingly competitive.

As a 14-year-old, she attended a coaching clinic and learned about the Top 100 golf courses in the U.S. She even turned down a scholarship to play collegiate golf because of her desire to compete on the Olympic golf team.

Katharine took three years off from high school and didn’t play for her collegiate team while participating in the women’s amateur tour. She won four tournaments, bringing home nearly $70,000 in prize money. She also became the first woman to be awarded the New England Amateur championship on three occasions.

Katharine’s handiwork gave birth to golf for women. Women now have the opportunity to play against, and sometimes even with, men. Twenty-four years ago today, Katharine played in the inaugural Ryder Cup and saw a younger, more talented Rickie Fowler, then in his first year on the tour, help the American team defeat the Europeans.”

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