TORONTO — Jocelyne Bourassa, a star Canadian golfer and the LPGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 1972, has died. She was 74.
Her death was announced Thursday by Golf Canada, which did not give details.
After her star rookie season on the LPGA Tour she was honored as the year’s best female athlete by The Canadian Press. She was also named to the Order of Canada in 1972.
Bourassa’s eight-year LPGA Tour career was cut short by injuries. She began a second career immediately by becoming the du Maurier Classic’s executive director.
“She’s an icon and a legend in Canadian women’s golf so she’s going to be missed by a lot of us,” Canadian Olympic golfer Alena Sharp said from Japan. “I hope her legend lives on with the younger generations.”
Her biggest professional victory came in 1973 when she captured the inaugural La Canadienne in Montreal. No other Canadian won the Canadian Women’s Open until Brooke Henderson 45 years later.
Henderson, also playing at the Tokyo Olympics, said Bourassa had reached out to her after she won the CP Women’s Open in 2018 and they stayed in regular contact although they met only once. Henderson says she keeps a photo of that meeting on her iPad.
“She’s been a legend for Canadian golf and somebody that I’ve looked up to,” Henderson said.
Bourassa was born in Shawinigan, Quebec. She was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1996 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.