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Posted: 4/8/05

Mae Murray Jones Has Passed Away

Legendary Vermont golfer, Mae Murray Jones, has passed away in Lancaster, PA at the age of 78.  Mae was the winner of a record six  Vermont Amateur championships (five of them consecutive) from 1941 to 1949 (there was no play during the war years) and 1952.  She also was  the winner of a record four consecutive New England Amateur championships from 1959 where she won at the famed Country Club of Brookline, MA to 1962 where she won on her home course of Rutland Country Club.  She was also a runner-up in the New Englands in 1964.


But Mae's accomplishments in the golfing world were not limited to New England.  She became a prominent figure on the national women's amateur golfing scene at the age of 22 when she reached the finals of the Western Amateur Championship.  She then went on to reach the finals of the US Women's Amateur before losing the 36-hole final match to Beverly Hanson, 6 and 4.  The quarterfinal match against Fay Crocker, who later went on to play on the LPGA, proved to be a very exciting match becoming the second longest match in USGA history lasting nine holes of sudden death play and spanning two days before Mae triumphed.  The match was suspended after 24 holes due to darkness and resumed the next morning.  Both ladies were playing excellent golf and were both 2-under par for the match. The tournament was held at the East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, GA, the home of Bobby Jones who watched the match and pronounced it "the greatest match, man's or woman's, that I have ever seen".


The following year, she added a second place finish in the North-South and reached the semi-finals of the Canadian Women's Open.  In 1952, she was selected as a Curtis Cup team member representing the US in Muirfield, Scotland.  She considered this event to be the highlight of her golfing career saying "It's just like being in the Olympics.  It's a great thrill being able to represent your country." Following the Curtis Cup, she then survived to the semi-finals of the British Open in Troon.


Mae was a long-time member of Rutland Country Club where her father, Jim Murray, was the club professional for 30 years.  Instead of choosing a career in professional golf, Mae married Hugh Raymond Jones, son of Ruth Raymond Jones (Jonsie) who was one founding matriarchs of Vermont women's golf.  Mae herself contributed not only her golfing excellence to the women's golf association, but also her time and energy in establishing  course ratings for Vermont courses.


After her husband's death and her mother-in-law's death, Mae moved to Southern Pines, NC.  In 1999, health concerns caused her to move to a nursing home in Lancaster, PA with her sister Joyce.  She is survived by her sisters Joyce Murray of Lancaster and Jean Currier of Southern Pines, NC, a brother James Murray of Amherst, NH and four nephews.  Funeral services will be at the Calvary Fellowship Home in Lancaster with burial at the Mellinger Mennonite Cemetery.


Although Mae Murray Jones has not been part of the Vermont golf scene for many years, she has never been forgotten.  Her name will live on as an integral part of the history of the Vermont Women's Golf Association.  In fact, the team trophy for the clubs with the most state day points bears she name.


Much of the information in this article was taken from an article written by Arthur Ristau of Barre and published in the Rutland Herald on 4/8/05.  To view this article in it's entirety, click on www.rutlandherald.com.