Open main menu

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is an American organization for female professional golfers. The organization is headquartered at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Florida, and is best known for running the LPGA Tour, a series of weekly golf tournaments for elite female golfers from around the world.

Ladies Professional Golf Association
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2018 LPGA Tour
Ladies Professional Golf Association.svg
Logo introduced in October 2007[1][2]
Sport Golf
Founded 1950
Founder 13 original LPGA players[3]
Inaugural season 1950
Commissioner Michael Whan
Country  United States, with events in other countries in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America
Most titles United States Kathy Whitworth (88)
TV partner(s) Golf Channel
Official website LPGA.com

Contents

Organization and historyEdit

Other "LPGAs" exist in other countries, each with a geographical designation in its name, but the U.S. organization is the first, largest, and best known. The LPGA is also an organization for female club and teaching professionals. This is different from the PGA Tour, which runs the main professional tours in the U.S. and, since 1968, has been independent of the club and teaching professionals' organization, the PGA of America.

The LPGA also administers an annual qualifying school similar to that conducted by the PGA Tour. Depending on a golfer's finish in the final qualifying tournament, she may receive full or partial playing privileges on the LPGA Tour. In addition to the main LPGA Tour, the LPGA also owns and operates the Symetra Tour, formerly the Futures Tour, the official developmental tour of the LPGA. Top finishers at the end of each season on that tour receive playing privileges on the main LPGA Tour for the following year.

In its 63rd season in 2012, The LPGA is the oldest continuing women's professional sports organization in the United States.[4][5] It was founded in 1950 by a group of 13 golfers: Alice Bauer, Patty Berg, Bettye Danoff, Helen Dettweiler, Marlene Bauer Hagge, Helen Hicks, Opal Hill, Betty Jameson, Sally Sessions, Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork, Louise Suggs, and Babe Zaharias.[3] The LPGA succeeded the WPGA (Women's Professional Golf Association), which was founded in 1944 but stopped its limited tour after the 1948 season and officially ceased operations in December 1949.[6]

In 2001, Jane Blalock's JBC Marketing established the Women's Senior Golf Tour, now called the Legends Tour, for women professionals aged 45 and older. This is affiliated with the LPGA, but is not owned by the LPGA.

Michael Whan became the eighth commissioner of the LPGA in October 2009, succeeding the ousted Carolyn Bivens.[5][7] Whan is a former marketing executive in the sporting goods industry.[8]

After a lawsuit filed by golfer Lana Lawless, the rules were changed in 2010 to allow transgender competitors.[9][10][11] In 2013, trans woman Bobbi Lancaster faced local scorn for attempting playing in Arizona's Cactus Tour and attempting to qualify in the LPGA Qualifying Tournament.[12]

Prize money and tournamentsEdit

In 2010, total official prize money on the LPGA Tour was $41.4 million, a decrease of over $6 million from 2009. In 2010 there were 24 official tournaments, down from 28 in 2009 and 34 in 2008. Despite the loss in total tournaments, the number of tournaments hosted outside of the United States in 2010 stayed the same, as all four lost tournaments had been hosted in the United States. By 2016, the number of tournaments had risen to 33 with a record-high total prize money in excess of $63 million.

International presenceEdit

In its first four decades, the LPGA Tour was dominated by American players. Sandra Post of Canada became the first player living outside the United States to gain an LPGA tour card in 1968. The non-U.S. contingent is now very large. The last time an American player topped the money list was in 1993, the last time an American led the tour in tournaments won was in 1996, and from 2000 through 2009, non-Americans won 31 of 40 major championships.

Particularly, one of the notable trends seen in the early 21st century in the LPGA is the rise and dominance of Korean golfers.[13] Se Ri Pak's early success in the LPGA sparked the boom in Korean women golfers on the LPGA Tour.[14] In 2009, there were 122 non-Americans from 27 countries on the tour, including 47 from South Korea, 14 from Sweden, 10 from Australia, eight from the United Kingdom (four from England, three from Scotland and one from Wales), seven from Canada, five from Taiwan, and four from Japan.[15]

Of the 33 events in 2006, a total of 11 were won by Koreans and only seven were won by Americans. (See 2006 LPGA Tour for more details on the 2006 season.) In 2007, Americans saw a relative resurgence, winning 12 events. For the first time since 2000, two Americans won majors (See 2007 LPGA Tour for more details on the 2007 season.) In 2008, Americans grew in dominance, winning 9 of 34 events, tied with Koreans, but no majors, one of which was won by a Mexican player, one by Taiwanese, and the other two by teenage Korean players (See 2008 LPGA Tour for more details on the 2008 season.) In 2009, Americans won 5 of 28 official events, including one major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship while Koreans won 11 events (See 2009 LPGA Tour for more details on the 2009 season.)

LPGA Tour tournamentsEdit

 
Kristy McPherson during her practice round before the 2009 LPGA Championship
at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Maryland.

Most of the LPGA Tour's events are held in the United States. In 2010, two tournaments were played in Mexico and one each in Singapore, Canada, France, England, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan. Unofficial events were also held in Brazil and Jamaica. In 2011, the unofficial Jamaica event was dropped and a tournament in Mexico was canceled months in advance over security concerns. The Women's British Open rotated from England to Scotland and all other countries retained their tournaments. In addition, events were added in China and Taiwan, while the biennial USA–Europe team competition, the Solheim Cup was played in Ireland. (The new event in China was postponed and ultimately canceled.)

Five of the tournaments held outside North America are co-sanctioned with other professional tours. The Ladies European Tour co-sanctions the Women's British Open, The Evian Championship in France, and the Women's Australian Open (also co-sanctioned with the ALPG Tour). The other two co-sanctioned events—the LPGA Hana Bank Championship (LPGA of Korea Tour) and Mizuno Classic (LPGA of Japan Tour)—are held during the tour's autumn swing to Asia.

The LPGA's annual major championships are:

LPGA PlayoffsEdit

Since 2006, the LPGA has played a season-ending championship tournament. Through the 2008 season, it was known as the LPGA Playoffs at The ADT; in 2009 and 2010, it was known as the LPGA Tour Championship; and in 2011, the event became the CME Group Titleholders, held in November.

From 2006 through 2008 the LPGA schedule was divided into two halves, with 15 players from each half qualifying for the Championship based on their performance. Two wild-card selections were also included for a final field of 21 players. The winner of the LPGA Tour Championship, which features three days of "playoffs" plus the final championship round, earns $1 million.

In 2009, the Tour Championship field was increased to 120 players, with entry open to all Tour members in the top 120 on the money list as of three weeks prior to the start of the tournament. The total purse was $1.5 million with $225,000 going to the winner.

The CME Group Titleholders, which resurrects the name of a former LPGA major championship (the Titleholders Championship), was first played in 2011. From 2011 to 2013, its field was made up of three qualifiers from each official tour event during the season, specifically the top three finishers not previously qualified. Beginning in 2014, the field will be determined by a season-long points race. The winner of the points race will receive a $1 million bonus.[16]

2018 LPGA TourEdit

2018 money leadersEdit

Through the conclusion of the Evian Championship on September 16.

Rank Change Player Country Events Prize
money ($)
1   Ariya Jutanugarn   Thailand 23 2,261,377
2   Brooke Henderson   Canada 23 1,364,956
3   Sung Hyun Park   South Korea 19 1,261,595
4   So Yeon Ryu   South Korea 19 1,229,837
5   Minjee Lee   Australia 22 1,187,576
6   Nasa Hataoka   Japan 20 1,093,790
7  4 Sei Young Kim   South Korea 21 1,077,485
8   Inbee Park   South Korea 13 979,527
9  2 Jin-Young Ko   South Korea 20 954,401
10  35 Angela Stanford   United States 23 947,798

Change = change from previous rank.
Source and complete list: LPGA official website.

Historical tour schedules and resultsEdit

Year Number of
official tournaments
Countries hosting
tournaments
Tournaments in
United States
Tournaments in
other countries
Total prize
money ($)
2017 34 15 17 17 67,650,000
2016 33 14 18 15 63,000,000
2015 31 14 17 14 59,100,000
2014 32 14 17 15 57,550,000
2013 28 14 14 14 48,900,000
2012 27 12 15 12 47,000,000
2011 23 11 13 10 41,500,000
2010 24 10 14 10 41,400,000
2009 28 9 18 10 47,600,000
2008 34 8 24 10 60,300,000
2007 31 8 23 8 54,285,000
2006 33 8 25 8 50,275,000
2005 32 7 25 7 45,100,000
2004 32 6 27 5 42,875,000
  • Official tournaments are tournaments in which earnings and scores are credited to the players' official LPGA record.

Hall of FameEdit

The LPGA established the Hall of Fame of Women's Golf in 1951, with four charter members: Patty Berg, Betty Jameson, Louise Suggs, and Babe Zaharias. After being inactive for several years, the Hall of Fame moved in 1967 to its first physical premises, in Augusta, Georgia, and was renamed the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame. In 1998 it merged into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

LPGA Tour awardsEdit

The LPGA Tour presents several annual awards. Three are awarded in competitive contests, based on scoring over the course of the year.

  • The Rolex Player of the Year is awarded based on a formula in which points are awarded for top-10 finishes and are doubled at the LPGA's four major championships and at the season-ending Tour Championship. The points system is: 30 points for first; 12 points for second; nine points for third; seven points for fourth; six points for fifth; five points for sixth; four points for seventh; three points for eighth; two points for ninth and one point for 10th.
  • The Vare Trophy, named for Glenna Collett-Vare, is given to the player with the lowest scoring average for the season.
  • The Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award is awarded to the first-year player on the LPGA Tour who scores the highest in a points competition in which points are awarded based on a player's finish in an event. The points system is: 150 points for first; 80 points for second; 75 points for third; 70 points for fourth; and 65 points for fifth. After fifth place, points are awarded in decrements of three, beginning at sixth place with 62 points. Points are doubled in the major events and at the season-ending Tour Championship. Rookies who make the cut in an event and finish below 41st each receive five points. The award is named after Louise Suggs, one of the founders of the LPGA.

American golfer Nancy Lopez, in 1978, is the only player to win all three awards in the same season. Lopez was also the Tour's top money earner that season.

Year Player of the Year Vare Trophy Rookie of the Year
2017   Sung Hyun Park
  So Yeon Ryu
  Lexi Thompson   Sung Hyun Park[17]
2016   Ariya Jutanugarn   In Gee Chun   In Gee Chun
2015   Lydia Ko   Inbee Park   Sei Young Kim
2014   Stacy Lewis   Stacy Lewis   Lydia Ko[18]
2013   Inbee Park   Stacy Lewis   Moriya Jutanugarn
2012   Stacy Lewis   Inbee Park   So Yeon Ryu
2011   Yani Tseng   Yani Tseng   Hee Kyung Seo
2010   Yani Tseng   Na Yeon Choi   Azahara Muñoz
2009   Lorena Ochoa   Lorena Ochoa   Jiyai Shin
2008   Lorena Ochoa   Lorena Ochoa   Yani Tseng
2007   Lorena Ochoa   Lorena Ochoa   Angela Park
2006   Lorena Ochoa   Lorena Ochoa   Seon Hwa Lee
2005   Annika Sörenstam   Annika Sörenstam   Paula Creamer
2004   Annika Sörenstam   Grace Park   Shi Hyun Ahn
2003   Annika Sörenstam   Se Ri Pak   Lorena Ochoa
2002   Annika Sörenstam   Annika Sörenstam   Beth Bauer
2001   Annika Sörenstam   Annika Sörenstam   Hee-Won Han
2000   Karrie Webb   Karrie Webb   Dorothy Delasin
1999   Karrie Webb   Karrie Webb   Mi Hyun Kim
1998   Annika Sörenstam   Annika Sörenstam   Se Ri Pak
1997   Annika Sörenstam   Karrie Webb   Lisa Hackney
1996   Laura Davies   Annika Sörenstam   Karrie Webb
1995   Annika Sörenstam   Annika Sörenstam   Pat Hurst
1994   Beth Daniel   Beth Daniel   Annika Sörenstam
1993   Betsy King   Betsy King   Suzanne Strudwick
1992   Dottie Mochrie   Dottie Mochrie   Helen Alfredsson
1991   Pat Bradley   Pat Bradley   Brandie Burton
1990   Beth Daniel   Beth Daniel   Hiromi Kobayashi
1989   Betsy King   Beth Daniel   Pamela Wright
1988   Nancy Lopez   Colleen Walker   Liselotte Neumann
1987   Ayako Okamoto   Betsy King   Tammie Green
1986   Pat Bradley   Pat Bradley   Jody Rosenthal
1985   Nancy Lopez   Nancy Lopez   Penny Hammel
1984   Betsy King   Patty Sheehan   Juli Inkster
1983   Patty Sheehan   JoAnne Carner   Stephanie Farwig
1982   JoAnne Carner   JoAnne Carner   Patti Rizzo
1981   JoAnne Carner   JoAnne Carner   Patty Sheehan
1980   Beth Daniel   Amy Alcott   Myra Blackwelder
1979   Nancy Lopez   Nancy Lopez   Beth Daniel
1978   Nancy Lopez   Nancy Lopez   Nancy Lopez
1977   Judy Rankin   Judy Rankin   Debbie Massey
1976   Judy Rankin   Judy Rankin   Bonnie Lauer
1975   Sandra Palmer   JoAnne Carner   Amy Alcott
1974   JoAnne Carner   JoAnne Carner   Jan Stephenson
1973   Kathy Whitworth   Judy Rankin   Laura Baugh
1972   Kathy Whitworth   Kathy Whitworth   Jocelyne Bourassa
1971   Kathy Whitworth   Kathy Whitworth   Sally Little
1970   Sandra Haynie   Kathy Whitworth   JoAnne Carner
1969   Kathy Whitworth   Kathy Whitworth   Jane Blalock
1968   Kathy Whitworth   Carol Mann   Sandra Post
1967   Kathy Whitworth   Kathy Whitworth   Sharron Moran
1966   Kathy Whitworth   Kathy Whitworth   Jan Ferraris
1965   Kathy Whitworth   Margie Masters
1964   Mickey Wright   Susie Maxwell
1963   Mickey Wright   Clifford Ann Creed
1962   Mickey Wright   Mary Mills
1961   Mickey Wright
1960   Mickey Wright
1959   Betsy Rawls
1958   Beverly Hanson
1957   Louise Suggs
1956   Patty Berg
1955   Patty Berg
1954   Babe Zaharias
1953   Patty Berg

Leading money winners by yearEdit

Year Player Country Earnings ($) Most wins
2017 Sung Hyun Park   South Korea 2,335,883 3 – Shanshan Feng, In-Kyung Kim
2016 Ariya Jutanugarn   Thailand 2,550,928 5 – Ariya Jutanugarn
2015 Lydia Ko   New Zealand 2,800,802 5 – Lydia Ko, Inbee Park
2014 Stacy Lewis   United States 2,539,039 3 – Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park
2013 Inbee Park   South Korea 2,456,619 6 – Inbee Park
2012 Inbee Park   South Korea 2,287,080 4 – Stacy Lewis
2011 Yani Tseng   Taiwan 2,921,713 7 – Yani Tseng
2010 Na Yeon Choi   South Korea 1,871,166 5 – Ai Miyazato
2009 Jiyai Shin   South Korea 1,807,334 3 – Jiyai Shin, Lorena Ochoa
2008 Lorena Ochoa   Mexico 2,754,660 7 – Lorena Ochoa
2007 Lorena Ochoa   Mexico 4,364,994 8 – Lorena Ochoa
2006 Lorena Ochoa   Mexico 2,592,872 6 – Lorena Ochoa
2005 Annika Sörenstam   Sweden 2,588,240 10 – Annika Sörenstam
2004 Annika Sörenstam   Sweden 2,544,707 8 – Annika Sörenstam
2003 Annika Sörenstam   Sweden 2,029,506 6 – Annika Sörenstam
2002 Annika Sörenstam   Sweden 2,863,904 11 – Annika Sörenstam
2001 Annika Sörenstam   Sweden 2,105,868 8 – Annika Sörenstam
2000 Karrie Webb   Australia 1,876,853 7 – Karrie Webb
1999 Karrie Webb   Australia 1,591,959 6 – Karrie Webb
1998 Annika Sörenstam   Sweden 1,092,748 4 – Annika Sörenstam, Se Ri Pak
1997 Annika Sörenstam   Sweden 1,236,789 6 – Annika Sörenstam
1996 Karrie Webb   Australia 1,002,000 4 – Laura Davies, Dottie Pepper, Karrie Webb
1995 Annika Sörenstam   Sweden 666,533 3 – Annika Sörenstam
1994 Laura Davies   England 687,201 4 – Beth Daniel
1993 Betsy King   United States 595,992 3 – Brandie Burton
1992 Dottie Mochrie   United States 693,335 4 – Dottie Mochrie
1991 Pat Bradley   United States 763,118 4 – Pat Bradley, Meg Mallon
1990 Beth Daniel   United States 863,578 7 – Beth Daniel
1989 Betsy King   United States 654,132 6 – Betsy King
1988 Sherri Turner   United States 350,851 3 – 5 players (see 1)
1987 Ayako Okamoto   Japan 466,034 5 – Jane Geddes
1986 Pat Bradley   United States 492,021 5 – Pat Bradley
1985 Nancy Lopez   United States 416,472 5 – Nancy Lopez
1984 Betsy King   United States 266,771 4 – Patty Sheehan, Amy Alcott
1983 JoAnne Carner   United States 291,404 4 – Pat Bradley, Patty Sheehan
1982 JoAnne Carner   United States 310,400 5 – JoAnne Carner, Beth Daniel
1981 Beth Daniel   United States 206,998 5 – Donna Caponi
1980 Beth Daniel   United States 231,000 5 – Donna Caponi, JoAnne Carner
1979 Nancy Lopez   United States 197,489 8 – Nancy Lopez
1978 Nancy Lopez   United States 189,814 9 – Nancy Lopez
1977 Judy Rankin   United States 122,890 5 – Judy Rankin, Debbie Austin
1976 Judy Rankin   United States 150,734 6 – Judy Rankin
1975 Sandra Palmer   United States 76,374 4 – Carol Mann, Sandra Haynie
1974 JoAnne Carner   United States 87,094 6 – JoAnne Carner, Sandra Haynie
1973 Kathy Whitworth   United States 82,864 7 – Kathy Whitworth
1972 Kathy Whitworth   United States 65,063 5 – Kathy Whitworth, Jane Blalock
1971 Kathy Whitworth   United States 41,181 5 – Kathy Whitworth
1970 Kathy Whitworth   United States 30,235 4 – Shirley Englehorn
1969 Carol Mann   United States 49,152 8 – Carol Mann
1968 Kathy Whitworth   United States 48,379 10 – Carol Mann, Kathy Whitworth
1967 Kathy Whitworth   United States 32,937 8 – Kathy Whitworth
1966 Kathy Whitworth   United States 33,517 9 – Kathy Whitworth
1965 Kathy Whitworth   United States 28,658 8 – Kathy Whitworth
1964 Mickey Wright   United States 29,800 11 – Mickey Wright
1963 Mickey Wright   United States 31,269 13 – Mickey Wright
1962 Mickey Wright   United States 21,641 10 – Mickey Wright
1961 Mickey Wright   United States 22,236 10 – Mickey Wright
1960 Louise Suggs   United States 16,892 6 – Mickey Wright
1959 Betsy Rawls   United States 26,774 10 – Betsy Rawls
1958 Beverly Hanson   United States 12,639 5 – Mickey Wright
1957 Patty Berg   United States 16,272 5 – Betsy Rawls, Patty Berg
1956 Marlene Hagge   United States 20,235 8 – Marlene Hagge
1955 Patty Berg   United States 16,492 6 – Patty Berg
1954 Patty Berg   United States 16,011 5 – Louise Suggs, Babe Zaharias
1953 Louise Suggs   United States 19,816 8 – Louise Suggs
1952 Betsy Rawls   United States 14,505 8 – Betsy Rawls
1951 Babe Zaharias   United States 15,087 7 – Babe Zaharias
1950 Babe Zaharias   United States 14,800 6 – Babe Zaharias

1 The five players with who won three titles in 1988 were Juli Inkster, Rosie Jones, Betsy King, Nancy Lopez, and Ayako Okamoto.

Leading career money winnersEdit

The table below shows the top-10 career money leaders on the LPGA Tour (from the start of their rookie seasons) as of March 5, 2018.[19]

Rank Player Country Earned Earnings ($) Career
events
1 Annika Sörenstam   Sweden 1994–2008 22,573,192 303
2 Karrie Webb   Australia 1996–2018 20,179,509 472
3 Cristie Kerr   United States 1997–2018 19,207,849 505
4 Lorena Ochoa   Mexico 2003–2010 14,863,331 175
5 Suzann Pettersen   Norway 2003–2017 14,831,968 312
6 Juli Inkster   United States 1983–2017 14,026,673 692
7 Inbee Park   South Korea 2007–2018 13,606,156 232
8 Se Ri Pak   South Korea 1998–2016 12,583,713 365
9 Stacy Lewis   United States 2009–2018 12,468,421 237
10 Paula Creamer   United States 2005–2018 11,915,165 294

Total prize money awarded in past yearsEdit

Season Total
purse ($)
2010 41,400,000
2000 38,500,000
1990 17,100,000
1980 5,150,000
1970 435,040
1960 186,700
1950 50,000

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "New logo - press release". LPGA. October 3, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2011. [dead link]
  2. ^ "LPGA logo". famouslogos.us. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Learn more about the 13 LPGA founders". LPGA. 2011. Archived from the original on November 28, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ "LPGA Tour: History". The Golf Channel. 2000. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b "About the LPGA". LPGA. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ Mallon, Bill. Historical Dictionary of Golf. p. 330. 
  7. ^ "LPGA Names Michael Whan as its Commissioner". LPGA. October 28, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ "LPGA Tour names Whan commissioner". ESPN. Associated Press. October 28, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ Achenbach, James (October 13, 2010). "Who is former Long Drive champ Lana Lawless?". Golfweek. Retrieved March 12, 2018. 
  10. ^ Thomas, Katie (October 12, 2010). "Transgender Woman Sues L.P.G.A. Over Policy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 12, 2018. 
  11. ^ Thomas, Katie (December 1, 2010). "L.P.G.A. Will Allow Transgender Players to Compete". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2018. 
  12. ^ Boivin, Paola (March 12, 2013). "Transgender golfer dreams of playing in LPGA". USA Today. 
  13. ^ LPGA – South Korean women dominate women's golf in 2008
  14. ^ Mario, Jennifer. "Why Korean golfers are dominating LPGA Tour". Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  15. ^ "LPGA Information: 2009 International Players" (PDF) (Press release). LPGA. Retrieved January 24, 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^ "LPGA Tour goes to points race". ESPN. Associated Press. January 8, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Sung Hyun Park Clinches 2017 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Honors". LPGA. October 18, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Lydia Ko is LPGA's top rookie". ESPN. Associated Press. November 12, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Career Money". LPGA. 

External linksEdit