BARB (THOMAS) WHITEHEAD
Sibley | Inducted 2008 | Category: Amateur/ Professional Golfer
While growing up in the small northwest Iowa town of Sibley, Barb Thomas started winning tournaments at an early age claiming the Iowa Girl’s Junior and High School State Tournament titles in 1978 and 1979. She then spent one very successful year at Iowa State University winning 1st Team All-American honors in 1980. She transferred to NCAA powerhouse University of Tulsa and led them to the NCAA title in 1982, finishing 3rd individually. She won three Iowa Women’s State Amateur Championships in 1979, 1981 and 1982 before turning pro and earning her LPGA Tour card in the fall of 1983.
She played on the LPGA tour for 18 years. Her best years on tour were 1995 and 1996 finishing 31st and 24th respectively on the money list. She won the Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open in 1995 and finished tied for 6th in the LPGA Championship. In 1996 she lost in a playoff at the State Farm Rail Classic and had seven top-10 finishes. She also served on the LPGA Executive Committee in 1999-2000.
In a letter supporting of her nomination, West Des Moines businessman Paul Juffer recalled growing up with Barb Thomas in Sibley. “I watched her golf career grow to a level most of us dream about, but I’ve been more impressed with what she gave back to the game and what she gave back to the place where we grew up”, said Juffer. “Barb annually hosted a dozen or so prominent LPGA golfers at Sibley’s course and a course in Okoboji that raised thousands of dollars for the Osceola County Hospital in Sibley and Camp Foster in Okoboji.”
- Iowa Junior Girls’ Champion in 1978 & 1979
- First team All-American at Iowa State in 1980
- 3-time Iowa Women’s Amateur Champion: ’79,’81,’82
- Earned LPGA Tour Card in the Fall of 1983
- Ladies Hawaiian Open Champion, 1995
- Represented the LPGA Tour in the Nichirei International Tournament vs. Japan in 1995 & 1996
- Vice President of the LPGA Tour in 1999-2000