Marilyn Palmer O'Connor
Golf Athlete - Inducted 2017
Marilyn Palmer O'Connor became a force in Alberta amateur golf in the 1980s. She won the Alberta Ladies Championship eight times; in 1977, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, and 1996. She won the Canadian Ladies' Amateur Open Championship in 1986. She was the Alberta Senior Ladies Champion five times and the Canadian Ladies Senior Amateur Champion in 2001, with runner-up finishes in 1997, 1999, and 2000. Marilyn was the Low Amateur at two 1972 LPGA events: the Titleholders Championship and the Bluegrass Invitational. She won the International 4-Ball Championship in 1972 and was on the winning Commonwealth match-play team in 1979.
Marilyn's golf career began as a junior golfer while growing up in British Columbia. She was a three-time BC Junior Champion from 1963 to 1965, a two-time runner-up at the Canadian Junior Championships in both 1963 and 1965, as well as a nine-time BC Ladies Champion. Further, in 1966, Marilyn won the Canadian Ladies Amateur Closed Championship. She finished second at the Canadian Ladies Amateur Open Championship in 1967 and 1973 and third in 1975, 1977, and 1981.
Marilyn moved to Calgary in November of 1978 and won her first City Amateur Championship the next summer. Between 1984 and 2002, she won 13 more City Amateur titles, highlighted by 11 titles in a row from 1984 to 1994. Marilyn was a role model for young athletes, especially to junior girl golfers at the Calgary Elks Golf Club and the Country Hills Golf Club. She fostered a culture of hard work and dedication, as proven by her 19 club championships and multiple provincial and national achievements. Marilyn was also an eight-time Calgary City Senior Champion.
Marilyn’s competitive nature and steely determination drove/motivated her throughout her playing days. She was a member of 52 Provincial Teams. In 1971, Marilyn teamed with Jocelyne Bourassa and together, they won the New Zealand Foursome Championship. Marilyn competed for Canada on the World Cup Amateur Team six times; in 1968, 1972, 1974, 1976, and in 1978, when the team placed second. She again made the team in 1986. Marilyn competed on four Canadian Commonwealth Teams; in 1967, 1971, 1975 and was on the winning team in 1979. She was a non-playing Team Captain in 1999.
Score Award named Marilyn the #1 Canadian Female Amateur Golfer in 1981. She was inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1999, the Golf Hall of Fame of BC in 2001, the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2005, and the Alberta Golf Hall of Fame in 2005.