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Jones, Rosie (b. 1959)  
 
page: 1  2  3  

Putting is a strong suit for Jones, who, during her LPGA career, was often at or near the top of the rankings in that aspect of the sport. She was also highly rated for the accuracy of her driving.

Jones was a fan favorite not just for the technical expertise of her game but also for her approach to competition. She drew consistent praise for her determination and the energy that she put into her pursuit of athletic excellence.

Sponsor Message.

In 2004 Jones took a step that she realized could cost her some fans: she came out as a lesbian in an article in the New York Times. Although well aware that "as any gay person can tell you, coming out involves making yourself incredibly vulnerable," Jones stated, "I'm optimistic that my fans will see me as the same competitive, hard-working Rosie I've always been and respect this new aspect of my life as I respect their diversity."

Jones had been out to her family since the age of nineteen, and she had made no secret of her sexual orientation to friends or to the people of the LPGA. She explained her decision to make a public statement by saying, "I have reached a point in my life, at age 44, when I have the financial stability and emotional and intellectual wherewithal to make this leap."

Adding to Jones's financial security was an endorsement deal with Olivia, a travel and entertainment company for lesbians. She was pleased to receive the offer not only because she could represent a company "with a complementary social mission" but also because she felt that she had had less than her share of opportunities before that.

"I was a top player, and I was not getting endorsement deals that other, lesser players were getting," she stated in a 2007 interview. "I have definitely felt in the past that I was scrutinized or looked over because they assumed I was gay. Or dropped from an endorsement deal because I was gay," as those in the world of women's professional golf already knew.

Signing with Olivia necessarily entailed a public coming out. Jones was prepared for negative reaction to her announcement but in fact met with very little. On the contrary, she signed with a new sponsor, YES! putters, after her revelation, and she did not lose any of her existing endorsements.

Nor did her fans desert her. Jones had always been a favorite with lesbian followers of the sport, from whom a positive reaction was to be expected, but she was pleasantly surprised by the warm and favorable response from a wide spectrum of the public: "I had a lot of people come up to me and say that coming out was really great. It would be old people, young people, straight people, gay people, and that was all very touching."

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