Barbara Romack, 1954 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion at Allegheny, 1932-2016

Posted October 19, 2016 - Western Pennsylvania Golf Association - Contact

Barbara Romack, who defeated Mickey Wright, 4 &2, in the finals during the 1954 USGA Women’s Amateur at Allegheny Country Club, died at age 83 in Florida earlier this week.

Romack's victory at Allegheny occurred the same year as Arnold Palmer’s win in the US Amateur at Country Club of Detroit. Her amateur career featured several wins, such as the 1952 Women’s North & South, 1953 Canadian Women’s Amateur, and three California state championships. She was a member of three Curtis Cup teams.

After turning professional in 1958, Romack played the LPGA Tour for nearly twenty years. She won two titles during her LPGA career. Romack was also a highly regarded instructor, often donating her services to junior girls’ clinics.

The 1954 Women’s Amateur had 34 women from Western Pennsylvania including nine who advanced to the second round or better. The best showing was Mrs. Frederic Weir, Shannopin, who advanced to the third round. She lost to Canadian standout Marlene Streit in 19 holes. Contestants who won matches include: Phyllis Semple, Carol Semple Thomson’s mother, Margerie Wykoff, and Mrs. James Flower, and Mrs. W.G. Boggs, from Allegheny; Mrs. John Burress, Chartiers; Mrs. John Haskell, Wanango; Mary Foster, Fox Chapel, and Mrs. W.H. Worsham, Youghiogheny. Haskell was runner-up in the 1965 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Exmoor Country Club, Highland Park, Illinois.

Area contestants in the starting field of 151 included Betty Abernethy, Fox Chapel; Mary Maitland Alexander, Allegheny; Mrs. James Berry, Wanango; Helen Benitoa, Uniontown; Mrs. George Bilowick, Butler; Mrs. Stuart Brown, Allegheny; Mrs. J. Leonard Clark, Pittsburgh; Mrs. Clarence E. Cox, Wanango; Mrs. Daryl Harbaugh, Edgewood; Patricia Harvey, Greensburg; Mrs. Elsie Hoke, Chartiers; Mrs. James Johns, Edgewood; Mary Kuhn, PIttsburgh; Jane Martin, Oakmont; Mrs. Lee Mason, Edgewood; Mrs. Henry Mc Quaide, Chartiers; Mrs. James Murray, Pittsburgh; Mrs. Edward Nestor, Duquesne; Mrs. Thomas Nolan, New Castle; Mrs. Frederic Pafford, Allegheny; Maureen Riley, New Castle; Mrs. J. Davidge Warfield, Allegheny; Joan Wassel, Churchill Valley; Sarah Fownes Wedworth, Oakmont; and Ann White, Uniontown.

The 1954 starting field was 23% players from the area, many who distinguished themselves in area golf before or after this Women’s Amateur. Records indicate this is highest number of area contestants ever to compete in a USGA championship. U.S. Women’s Amateurs played in Western Pennsylvania include 1966 at Sewickley Heights Golf Club, won by Joanne Carner, 1985 at Fox Chapel Golf Club, won by Michiko Hattori, and 2004 at The Kahkwa Club, won by Jane Park.