Who's who: Donna Caponi

  • Photo of Donna Caponi
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  • Photo of Donna Caponi
  • usa.png

Who's who: Donna Caponi

  • Name:

    Donna Caponi
  • Country:

    USA
  • Born:

    Jan 29, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Original/Home Club:

  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer; TV commentator.
  • Turned Pro:

    1965

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (4): US Women's Open (1969, '70); US LPGA Ch'ship (1979, '81). Total professional wins (29), including LPGA Tour (24). Other wins included the 1975 European Open and 1976 Australian Open. World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 2001).

Did you know?

Caponi started playing golf aged 5 and enjoyed a successful amateur career. She moved onto the LPGA Tour as a professional in 1965. Her first win on tour came in the 1969 U.S. Women's Open, a title she successfully defended the following year. During the 1970s and early 80s she would accumulate a total of 24 wins on the LPGA Tour.

From 1971, after marrying Ken Young, she was known as Donna Caponi Young. She reverted to Donna Caponi when they divorced in 1981. In 2006 she married Ted Byrnes, and is now known as Donna Caponi-Byrnes.

Top tournaments won by Donna Caponi

1981
America
286 (-2)
$30,000
Desert Inn

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Score

286 (-2)

Prize money

$30,000

Title sponsor

Desert Inn

Played as the LPGA Desert Inn Pro-Am. Second-placed Pat Bradley (USA) finished 3 shots behind defending champion Caponi (USA; at the time Donna Caponi Young), who recorded her 20th LPGA Tour win. [Wynn Las Vegas, Nevada; at the time known as Desert Inn CC. Earlier rounds also at Las Vegas CC].

1981
America
Riverside, OR
203 (-16)
$21,000
PING

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Riverside, OR

Score

203 (-16)

Prize money

$21,000

Title sponsor

PING

Played as the Portland PING Team Championship (unofficial LPGA Tr team event). Defending champions Donna Caponi (USA) & Kathy Whitworth (USA) beat JoAnne Carner (USA) & Judy Rankin (USA) with a birdie at the second playoff hole. [Riverside G&CC, Portland, Oregon].

1981
America
North Ridge CC
208 (-8)
$18,750
American Defender/WRAL

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

North Ridge CC

Score

208 (-8)

Prize money

$18,750

Title sponsor

American Defender/WRAL

Played as the American Defender/WRAL Golf Classic. Second-placed Cathy Sherk (Can) finished 1 shot behind Caponi (USA). [North Ridge CC, Raleigh, North Carolina].

1981
America
Ferncroft CC
276 (-12)
$22,500
Boston Five

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Ferncroft CC

Score

276 (-12)

Prize money

$22,500

Title sponsor

Boston Five

Played as the Boston Five Classic. Second-placed Jan Stephenson (Aus) finished 6 shots behind Caponi (USA), who recorded the last of her 24 LPGA Tour wins. [Ferncroft CC, Middleton, nr Boston, MA].

1981
America
Meadow Brook, NY
282 (-6)
$18,750
Western Union Intl

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Meadow Brook, NY

Score

282 (-6)

Prize money

$18,750

Title sponsor

Western Union Intl

Played as the WUI Classic. Julie Stanger (USA) finished 2 shots behind Caponi (USA). [Meadow Brook Club, Jericho, Long Island, NY].

1981
Majors
Kings Island
280 (-8)
$22,500
LPGA

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Kings Island

Score

280 (-8)

Prize money

$22,500

Title sponsor

LPGA

The LPGA Championship (27th) (June 11-14). Second-placed Jerilyn Britz (USA) and Pat Meyers (USA) finished 1 shot behind Caponi (USA), who won the LPGA Championship for the second time in three years. [Grizzly course, The Golf Center at Kings Island, Mason, OH].

1980
America
275 (-13)
$37,500
Colgate

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Score

275 (-13)

Prize money

$37,500

Title sponsor

Colgate

Played as the Colgate Dinah Shore Winners Circle (9th). Second-placed Amy Alcott (USA) finished 2 shots behind Caponi (USA). [Dinah Shore Tournament course, Mission Hills CC, Rancho Mirage, CA].

1980
America
Riverside, OR
195 (-24)
$21,000
PING

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Riverside, OR

Score

195 (-24)

Prize money

$21,000

Title sponsor

PING

Played as the Portland PING Team Championship (unofficial LPGA Tr team event). Second-placed Janet Alex (USA) & Judy Clark (USA) finished 4 shots behind Donna Caponi (USA) & Kathy Whitworth (USA). [Riverside G&CC, Portland, Oregon].

1980
America
286 (-2)
$30,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Score

286 (-2)

Prize money

$30,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the LPGA National Pro-Am. Second-placed and defending champion Nancy Lopez (USA) finished 1 shot behind Caponi (USA). [Wynn Las Vegas, Nevada; at the time known as Desert Inn CC. Earlier rounds also at Las Vegas CC].

1980
America
Corning CC
281 (-7)
$15,000
Corning

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Corning CC

Score

281 (-7)

Prize money

$15,000

Title sponsor

Corning

Played as the LPGA Corning Classic. Second-placed Myra Van Hoose (USA) finished 2 shots behind Caponi (USA). [Corning CC, Corning, nr Elmira, New York].

1980
America
Elizabeth Manor
277 (-11)
$15,000
Utd Virginia Bank

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Elizabeth Manor

Score

277 (-11)

Prize money

$15,000

Title sponsor

Utd Virginia Bank

Played as the United Virginia Bank Golf Classic. Second-placed Nancy Lopez (USA) finished 4 shots behind Caponi (USA). [Elizabeth Manor G&CC, Portsmouth, Virginia].

1980
America
283
$15,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Score

283

Prize money

$15,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the ERA Real Estate Classic. Shelley Hamlin finished in second place behind Caponi.

1979
Majors
Kings Island
279 (-9)
$22,500
LPGA

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Kings Island

Score

279 (-9)

Prize money

$22,500

Title sponsor

LPGA

The LPGA Championship (25th) (June 7-10). Second-placed Jerilyn Britz (USA) finished 3 shots behind Caponi (USA), who claimed her third major championship win. [Grizzly course, The Golf Center at Kings Island, Mason, OH].

1978
America
203 (-16)
$20,000
PING

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Score

203 (-16)

Prize money

$20,000

Title sponsor

PING

Played as the PING Classic Team Championship (unofficial LPGA Tr team event). Donna Caponi (USA) & Kathy Whitworth (USA) beat Murle Breer (USA) & Barbara Moxness (USA) in a sudden-death playoff. [Columbia Edgewater CC, Portland, Oregon].

1978
America
Round Hill CC
282 (-10)
$15,000
Sarah Coventry

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Round Hill CC

Score

282 (-10)

Prize money

$15,000

Title sponsor

Sarah Coventry

Played as the Sarah Coventry championship. Second-placed and defending champion Jane Blalock (USA) finished 5 shots behind Caponi (USA). [Round Hill CC, Alamo, CA]. Note: from 1979 to 1981 The Sarah Coventry moved to Locust Hill CC, to be renamed the Rochester International in 1982 and then Wegmans LPGA in 2006. See "Wegmans LPGA" history for the 1979-81 Sarah Coventry results.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Score

207

Prize money

$7,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Houston Exchange Clubs Classic. Alexandra Reinhart finished in second place behind Caponi.

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Score

206

Prize money

A$3,500

Title sponsor

Wills/Qantas

Played as the Wills-Qantas Australian Ladies Open (March 12-14). Won by Donna Caponi Young (USA). [Victoria GC, Melbourne, Aus].

1976
America
Cedar Brae
212 (-4)
$12,000
Peter Jackson

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Cedar Brae

Score

212 (-4)

Prize money

$12,000

Title sponsor

Peter Jackson

Played as the Peter Jackson Classic. Caponi (USA) beat Judy Rankin (USA) in a sudden-death playoff. [Cedar Brae G&CC, Scarborough, Ontario].

1976
America
282
$35,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Score

282

Prize money

$35,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as The Carlton. Jane Blalock and Judy Rankin finished in second place behind Caponi.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Score

217 (-2)

Prize money

$6,400

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Portland Classic. Caponi (USA) beat Clifford Ann Creed (USA) with a birdie at the second playoff hole. [Portland GC, Portland, Oregon].

1976
Asia
Hanayashiki GC
217 (-5)
US$15,000
Mizuno

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Hanayashiki GC

Score

217 (-5)

Prize money

US$15,000

Title sponsor

Mizuno

Played as the LPGA/Japan Mizuno Classic (LPGA & Jpn LPGA Trs event). Hisako "Chako" Higuchi (Jpn) finished in second place behind Caponi (USA), who claimed her third LPGA Tour win in as many starts. [Hanayashiki GC, Miki, Hyogo, Japan].

1975
America
Kendale Lakes CC
208 (-8)
$5,700
Burdine's

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Kendale Lakes CC

Score

208 (-8)

Prize money

$5,700

Title sponsor

Burdine's

Played as Burdine's Invitational. Second-placed Kathy Cornelius (USA) finished 3 shots behind Caponi (USA). [Kendale Lakes CC, nr Miami, FL; now called Miccosukee G&CC].

1975
Europe
283 (-13)
£5,000
Colgate

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Score

283 (-13)

Prize money

£5,000

Title sponsor

Colgate

Played as the Colgate European Women's Open (Aug 6-9; unofficial LPGA Tr event). Second-placed Sandra Palmer (USA) finished 2 shots behind Donna Caponi Young (USA). [Old course, Sunningdale GC, Sunningdale, Berks].

1975
America
Indian Hills CC, GA
214 (-5)
$5,700
Tara

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Indian Hills CC, GA

Score

214 (-5)

Prize money

$5,700

Title sponsor

Tara

Played as the Lady Tara Classic. Second-placed Sandra Palmer (USA) and Gloria Ehret (USA) finished 1 shot behind Caponi (USA). [Indian Hills CC, Marietta, Georgia].

1973
America
216
$4,500
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Score

216

Prize money

$4,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Bluegrass Invitational. Sandra Spuzich finished in second place behind Caponi.

1970
America
214
$3,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Score

214

Prize money

$3,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Bluegrass Invitational. Mary Mills finished in second place behind Caponi.

1970
Majors
Muskogee CC
287 (+3)
$5,000
USGA

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Muskogee CC

Score

287 (+3)

Prize money

$5,000

Title sponsor

USGA

The US Women's Open (25th) (July 2-5). Second-placed Sandra Haynie (USA) and Sandra Spuzich (USA) finished 1 shot behind defending champion Caponi (USA). [Muskogee CC, Muskogee, Okla.].

1969
Majors
294 (+2)
$5,000
USGA

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Score

294 (+2)

Prize money

$5,000

Title sponsor

USGA

The US Women's Open (24th) (June 26-29). Second-placed Peggy Wilson (USA) finished 1 shot behind 24-year-old Caponi (USA), who recorded her first major championship win. [Scenic Hills CC, Pensacola, FL].

1969
America
Round Hill CC
214 (-2)
$3,000
Lincoln

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Caponi, Donna

Venue

Round Hill CC

Score

214 (-2)

Prize money

$3,000

Title sponsor

Lincoln

Played as the inaugural Lincoln-Mercury Open. Caponi (USA) beat Kathy Whitworth (USA) with a par at the first playoff hole, to claim her second LPGA Tour win. [Round Hill CC, Alamo, California].

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