Jocelyne Bourassa, CM, golfer (born 30 May 1947 in Shawinigan-Sud, QC).
Jocelyne Bourassa, CM, golfer (born 30 May 1947 in Shawinigan-Sud, QC). Jocelyne Bourassa was the Canadian women’s amateur golf champion in 1965 and 1971. In 1972, she attained professional status and in 1973, won the first La Canadienne tournament in Montréal. Founder of the du Maurier Series, Bourassa is an ambassador for women’s golf. A Member of the Order of Canada, she has received numerous awards and distinctions, including induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
Jocelyne Bourassa was introduced to golf at the age of 12 as a junior player by her brother Gilles, and quickly demonstrated exceptional talent on the green. Her professionalism and determination enabled her to capture the Québec junior championship titles from 1963 to 1965; the Québec Amateur Golf Championship in 1963 and from 1969 to 1971; and the Canadian Women's Amateur Golf Championship in 1965 and 1971.
She wore the colours for Canada in the 1970 World Championships, and the following year she took part in the Commonwealth Championships.
In 1972, Bourassa attained professional status and challenged the elite of female golfers. She was successful at the Southgate Open, ranking second after the celebrated Kathy Whitworth. In 1973, she came first in the La Canadienne tournament (Montréal), and in 1975, she finished second in the Patty Berg Classic (Minnesota).
In 1973, Bourassa was recovering from surgery during the first major professional women's golf tournament in Québec, but this did not prevent her from beating the greatest international golfers in overtime. On two occasions (1972 and 1975) she ranked in the top 20 in the prestigious Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) circuit.
The talents of this Québec golfing pioneer have continued to arouse enthusiasm. A great many Canadians recognize the determination and perseverance of Jocelyne Bourassa, who has become an inspiration for all Québec golfers and for female athletes in general. (See also History of Canadian Women in Sport.)
Bourassa, who holds a BA in physical education from the Université de Montréal, retired from active golf in 1979 following a third bout of knee surgery, but her love for golf led her to devote herself to the promotion and development of the sport. Subsequently, she became the executive director of the du Maurier Classic (formerly La Canadienne, now the Canadian Women’s Open), which was one of the world's major tournaments. Later, she founded the du Maurier Series, with which she was associated for more than 20 years.
Over the years, Bourassa has received several distinctions that pay tribute to her talent and commitment to the development of women's golf. In 1971 and 1972, she was named French Canadian athlete of the year. In 1972, she also became a Member of the Order of Canada, received the Bobbie-Rosenfeld trophy as Canadian Female Athlete of the Year, and was named LPGA Rookie of the Year.
Jocelyne Bourassa was inducted into the Québec Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, into the Québec Golf Hall of Fame in 1995, and a year later, into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame as a professional builder. In early 2009, she won the LPGA Eloise Trainor Award for her contributions to women's golf. In 2015, she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
As a champion and pioneer of women's golf in Canada, Bourassa initiated a tradition of excellence in an environment once reserved primarily for men.