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Annika Sörenstam won ten women's major golf championships, the most in the third era of women's majors.
Yani Tseng won five majors in four years in the third era.
Lorena Ochoa won two women's majors.

Women's golf has a set of major championships which parallels that in men's golf, with the women's system newer and less stable than the men's. As of 2013, five tournaments are designated as majors in women's golf by the LPGA Tour.

Contents

LPGA majorsEdit

Current positionEdit

The LPGA's list of majors has changed several times over the years. The two most recent changes were:

  • In 2001, the du Maurier Classic, held in Canada, lost its primary sponsorship after that country passed severe restrictions on tobacco advertising. The tournament, now known as the Canadian Women's Open, is still a regular event on the LPGA Tour, but no longer designated as a major. The LPGA elevated the Women's British Open to major status to replace the du Maurier Classic.
  • In 2013, The Evian Championship, held in France, became the fifth LPGA major. Known before 2013 as the Evian Masters, it is one of two events recognized as majors by the LPGA's European counterpart, the Ladies European Tour (LET). The elevation of this event to LPGA major status and the name change were announced by the LPGA on July 20, 2011.[1]

As of 2018, the order in which women's majors are played:

Before The Evian Championship became the fifth LPGA major, the setup of women's majors closely paralleled that of the mainstream (i.e., under-50) men's majors. In both cases, the United States hosts three majors and the United Kingdom one. The Evian Championship, as noted above, is held in France. The U.S. and British Opens, and the PGA Championship match their male equivalents. The ANA Inspiration is the first major of the season and is held at a single host course (the Mission Hills Country Club), similarly to the Masters Tournament.

Unlike the mainstream men's equivalents, all but one of the women's majors have title sponsors. Each of the five majors falls under a different jurisdiction. The LPGA organizes the ANA Inspiration. Through 2014, it also organized the LPGA Championship, but since 2015 that tournament has been taken over by the PGA of America, the body that organizes the men's PGA Championship, and has been renamed the Women's PGA Championship.[2] The U.S. Women's Open, is operated by the United States Golf Association. The Women's British Open is operated by The R&A since a 2016 merger with the Ladies Golf Union. The Evian Championship is operated by the LET.

From 2006 through 2008, the winners of the four women's majors received automatic entry to the LPGA's season championship, the LPGA Tour Championship. Beginning in 2009, the Tour Championship extended entry to all players in the top 120 on the official LPGA Money List. Starting in 2011, the Tour Championship was replaced by the CME Group Titleholders; from that point through 2013, the top three finishers at all official tour events, including the majors, who had not already qualified for the Titleholders earned entries. Starting in 2014, the LPGA adopted a points race similar in some ways to the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup. In the new system, officially called the "Race to the CME Globe", the top 72 points earners during the season, plus all tournament winners, qualify for the renamed final event, the CME Group Tour Championship, in which the top nine points earners will have at least a mathematical chance of winning the season title.

HistoryEdit

Eight different events are classified as having been LPGA majors at some time. The number in each season has fluctuated between two and five. The first tournament which is now included in the LPGA's official list of major victories is the 1930 Women's Western Open, although this is a retrospective designation as the LPGA was not founded until 1950.[3]·The Titleholders was played from 1937 to 1966 with a gap due to World War II. In 1967 there were three majors, then from 1968 to 1971 this decreased and went back to two majors. Then in 1979, the du Maurier Classic was first played and immediately considered a major leading to three majors again from 1979 to 1982. In 1983, when Nabisco Dinah Shore gained major championship status, there were four majors.[4]

LPGA major winnersEdit

Fourth era (beginning in 2013)
Year ANA Inspiration U.S. Women's Open Women's PGA Championship The Evian Championship Women's British Open
2019   Ko Jin-young May 30 – Jun 2, Country Club of Charleston   Jun 20–23, Hazeltine National Golf Club   Jul 25–28, Evian Resort Golf Club   Aug 1–4, Woburn Golf and Country Club  
2018   Pernilla Lindberg   Ariya Jutanugarn (2/2)   Park Sung-hyun (2/2)   Angela Stanford   Georgia Hall
2017   Ryu So-yeon (2/2)   Park Sung-hyun (1/2)   Danielle Kang   Anna Nordqvist (2/2)   In-Kyung Kim
2016   Lydia Ko (2/2)   Brittany Lang   Brooke Henderson   Chun In-gee (2/2)   Ariya Jutanugarn (1/2)
2015   Brittany Lincicome (2/2)   Chun In-gee (1/2)   Inbee Park (6/7)   Lydia Ko (1/2)   Inbee Park (7/7)
2014   Lexi Thompson   Michelle Wie   Inbee Park (5/7)   Kim Hyo-joo   Mo Martin
2013[5]   Inbee Park (2/7)   Inbee Park (4/7)   Inbee Park (3/7)   Suzann Pettersen (2/2)   Stacy Lewis (2/2)
Third era (2001–2012)
Year Kraft Nabisco Championship LPGA Championship U.S. Women's Open Women's British Open
2012   Sun-Young Yoo   Shanshan Feng   Na Yeon Choi   Jiyai Shin (2/2)
2011   Stacy Lewis (1/2)   Yani Tseng (4/5)   Ryu So-yeon (1/2)   Yani Tseng (5/5)
2010   Yani Tseng (2/5)   Cristie Kerr (2/2)   Paula Creamer   Yani Tseng (3/5)
2009   Brittany Lincicome (1/2)   Anna Nordqvist (1/2)   Ji Eun-hee   Catriona Matthew
2008   Lorena Ochoa (2/2)   Yani Tseng (1/5)   Inbee Park (1/7)   Jiyai Shin (1/2)
2007   Morgan Pressel   Suzann Pettersen (1/2)   Cristie Kerr (1/2)   Lorena Ochoa (1/2)
2006   Karrie Webb (7/7)   Se Ri Pak (5/5)   Annika Sörenstam (10/10)   Sherri Steinhauer (2/2)
2005   Annika Sörenstam (8/10)   Annika Sörenstam (9/10)   Birdie Kim   Jeong Jang
2004   Grace Park   Annika Sörenstam (7/10)   Meg Mallon (4/4)   Karen Stupples
2003   Patricia Meunier-Lebouc   Annika Sörenstam (5/10)   Hilary Lunke   Annika Sörenstam (6/10)
2002   Annika Sörenstam (4/10)   Se Ri Pak (4/5)   Juli Inkster (7/7)   Karrie Webb (6/7)
2001   Annika Sörenstam (3/10)   Karrie Webb (4/7)   Karrie Webb (5/7)   Se Ri Pak (3/5)
Second era (1973–2000)
Year Nabisco Dinah Shore LPGA Championship U.S. Women's Open du Maurier Classic
2000   Karrie Webb (2/7)   Juli Inkster (6/7)   Karrie Webb (3/7)   Meg Mallon (3/4)
1999   Dottie Pepper (2/2)   Juli Inkster (4/7)   Juli Inkster (5/7)   Karrie Webb (1/7)
1998   Pat Hurst   Se Ri Pak (1/5)   Se Ri Pak (2/5)   Brandie Burton (2/2)
1997   Betsy King (6/6)   Christa Johnson   Alison Nicholas   Colleen Walker
1996   Patty Sheehan (6/6)   Laura Davies (3/4)   Annika Sörenstam (2/10)   Laura Davies (4/4)
1995   Nanci Bowen   Kelly Robbins   Annika Sörenstam (1/10)   Jenny Lidback
1994   Donna Andrews   Laura Davies (2/4)   Patty Sheehan (5/6)   Martha Nause
1993   Helen Alfredsson   Patty Sheehan (4/6)   Lauri Merten   Brandie Burton (1/2)
1992   Dottie Mochrie (1/2)   Betsy King (5/6)   Patty Sheehan (3/6)   Sherri Steinhauer (1/2)
1991   Amy Alcott (5/5)   Meg Mallon (1/4)   Meg Mallon (2/4)   Nancy Scranton
1990   Betsy King (3/6)   Beth Daniel   Betsy King (4/6)   Cathy Johnston
1989   Juli Inkster (3/7)   Nancy Lopez (3/3)   Betsy King (2/6)   Tammie Green
1988   Amy Alcott (4/5)   Sherri Turner   Liselotte Neumann   Sally Little (2/2)
1987   Betsy King (1/6)   Jane Geddes (2/2)   Laura Davies (1/4)   Jody Rosenthal
1986   Pat Bradley (4/6)   Pat Bradley (5/6)   Jane Geddes (1/2)   Pat Bradley (6/6)
1985   Alice Miller   Nancy Lopez (2/3)   Kathy Baker   Pat Bradley (3/6)
1984   Juli Inkster (1/7)   Patty Sheehan (2/6)   Hollis Stacy (4/4)   Juli Inkster (2/7)
1983   Amy Alcott (3/5)   Patty Sheehan (1/6)   Jan Stephenson (3/3)   Hollis Stacy (3/4)
1982 Not considered a major   Jan Stephenson (2/3)   Janet Anderson   Sandra Haynie (4/4)
1981   Donna Caponi (4/4)   Pat Bradley (2/6)   Jan Stephenson (1/3)
1980   Sally Little (1/2)   Amy Alcott (2/5)   Pat Bradley (1/6)
1979   Donna Caponi (3/4)   Jerilyn Britz   Amy Alcott (1/5)
1978   Nancy Lopez (1/3)   Hollis Stacy (2/4) Not considered a major
1977   Chako Higuchi   Hollis Stacy (1/4)
1976   Betty Burfeindt   JoAnne Carner (2/2)
1975   Kathy Whitworth (6/6)   Sandra Palmer (2/2)
1974   Sandra Haynie (2/4)   Sandra Haynie (3/4)
1973   Mary Mills (3/3)   Susie Berning (4/4)
First era (1930–72)
Year Women's Western Open LPGA Championship U.S. Women's Open Titleholders Championship
1972 Defunct   Kathy Ahern   Susie Berning (3/4)   Sandra Palmer (1/2)
1971   Kathy Whitworth (5/6)   JoAnne Carner (1/2) Not played
1970   Shirley Englehorn   Donna Caponi (2/4)
1969   Betsy Rawls (8/8)   Donna Caponi (1/4)
1968   Sandra Post   Susie Berning (2/4)
1967   Kathy Whitworth (3/6)   Kathy Whitworth (4/6)   Catherine Lacoste
1966   Mickey Wright (13/13)   Gloria Ehret   Sandra Spuzich   Kathy Whitworth (2/6)
1965   Susie Maxwell (1/4)   Sandra Haynie (1/4)   Carol Mann (2/2)   Kathy Whitworth (1/6)
1964   Carol Mann (1/2)   Mary Mills (2/3)   Mickey Wright (12/13)   Marilynn Smith (2/2)
1963   Mickey Wright (10/13)   Mickey Wright (11/13)   Mary Mills (1/3)   Marilynn Smith (1/2)
1962   Mickey Wright (8/13)   Judy Kimball   Murle Lindstrom   Mickey Wright (9/13)
1961   Mary Lena Faulk   Mickey Wright (5/13)   Mickey Wright (6/13)   Mickey Wright (7/13)
1960   Joyce Ziske   Mickey Wright (4/13)   Betsy Rawls (7/8)   Fay Crocker (2/2)
1959   Betsy Rawls (5/8)   Betsy Rawls (6/8)   Mickey Wright (3/13)   Louise Suggs (11/11)
1958   Patty Berg (15/15)   Mickey Wright (1/13)   Mickey Wright (2/13)   Beverly Hanson (3/3)
1957   Patty Berg (13/15)   Louise Suggs (10/11)   Betsy Rawls (4/8)   Patty Berg (14/15)
1956   Beverly Hanson (2/3)   Marlene Hagge   Kathy Cornelius   Louise Suggs (9/11)
1955   Patty Berg (11/15)   Beverly Hanson (1/3)   Fay Crocker (1/2)   Patty Berg (12/15)
1954   Betty Jameson (3/3) Not yet founded   Babe Zaharias (10/10)   Louise Suggs (8/11)
1953   Louise Suggs (7/11)   Betsy Rawls (3/8)   Patty Berg (10/15)
1952   Betsy Rawls (2/8)   Louise Suggs (6/11)   Babe Zaharias (9/10)
1951   Patty Berg (9/15)   Betsy Rawls (1/8)   Pat O'Sullivan
1950   Babe Zaharias (6/10)   Babe Zaharias (7/10)   Babe Zaharias (8/10)
1949   Louise Suggs (4/11)   Louise Suggs (5/11)   Peggy Kirk
1948   Patty Berg (7/15)   Babe Zaharias (5/10)   Patty Berg (8/15)
1947   Louise Suggs (3/11)   Betty Jameson (2/3)   Babe Zaharias (4/10)
1946   Louise Suggs (1/11)   Patty Berg (6/15)   Louise Suggs (2/11)
1945   Babe Zaharias (3/10) Not yet founded Not played (World War II)
1944   Babe Zaharias (2/10)
1943   Patty Berg (5/15)
1942   Betty Jameson (1/3)   Dorothy Kirby (2/2)
1941   Patty Berg (4/15)   Dorothy Kirby (1/2)
1940   Babe Zaharias (1/10)   Helen Hicks (2/2)
1939   Helen Dettweiler   Patty Berg (3/15)
1938   Bea Barrett   Patty Berg (2/15)
1937   Helen Hicks (1/2)   Patty Berg (1/15)
1936   Opal Hill (2/2) Not yet founded
1935   Opal Hill (1/2)
1934   Marian McDougall
1933   June Beebe (2/2)
1932   Jane Weiller
1931   June Beebe (1/2)
1930   Lucia Mida

The "Grand Slam"Edit

No woman has completed a four-major Grand Slam, much less one with five majors. Babe Zaharias won all three majors contested in 1950 and Sandra Haynie won both majors in 1974.

During the four-major era, six women have completed a "Career Grand Slam" by winning four different majors . There are variations in the set of four tournaments involved as the players played in different eras. The six are: Pat Bradley; Juli Inkster; Annika Sörenstam; Louise Suggs; Karrie Webb; and Mickey Wright. During the five-major era, Inbee Park became the first woman to complete the "Career Grand Slam." Even though there has been some debate surrounding whether Park has actually accomplished this feat, as she won The Evian Championship in 2012 before it officially became a major in 2013, LPGA acknowledged Park to have successfully achieved a "Career Grand Slam."[6][7] The LPGA recognizes Webb as its only "Super Career Grand Slam" winner, since she is the only golfer to have won five events recognized by the LPGA as majors. Before the elevation of The Evian Championship to major status, the following was required for a golfer to win the Super Career Grand Slam:

  • The du Maurier Classic between 1979 and 2000, when it was recognized by the LPGA as a major;
  • the Women's British Open in 2001 or later; and
  • the other three then-existing majors.

Webb won the du Maurier Classic in 1999 and the Women's British Open in 2002.

Consecutive victories at a major championshipEdit

Nationality Player Major # Years
  United States Patty Berg Titleholders Championship 3 1937, 1938, 1939
  Sweden Annika Sörenstam LPGA Championship 3 2003, 2004, 2005
  South Korea Inbee Park Women's PGA Championship 3 2013, 2014, 2015
  United States Opal Hill Women's Western Open 2 1935, 1936
  United States Dorothy Kirby Titleholders Championship 2 1941, 1942
  United States Babe Zaharias Women's Western Open 2 1944, 1945
  United States Louise Suggs Women's Western Open 2 1946, 1947
  United States Patty Berg Women's Western Open 2 1957, 1958
  United States Mickey Wright U.S. Women's Open 2 1958, 1959
  United States Mickey Wright LPGA Championship 2 1960, 1961
  United States Mickey Wright Titleholders Championship 2 1961, 1962
  United States Mickey Wright Women's Western Open 2 1962, 1963
  United States Marilynn Smith Titleholders Championship 2 1963, 1964
  United States Kathy Whitworth Titleholders Championship 2 1965, 1966
  United States Donna Caponi U.S. Women's Open 2 1969, 1970
  United States Susie Berning U.S. Women's Open 2 1972, 1973
  United States Hollis Stacy U.S. Women's Open 2 1977, 1978
  United States Patty Sheehan LPGA Championship 2 1983, 1984
  United States Pat Bradley du Maurier Classic 2 1985, 1986
  United States Betsy King U.S. Women's Open 2 1989, 1990
  Sweden Annika Sörenstam U.S. Women's Open 2 1995, 1996
  United States Juli Inkster LPGA Championship 2 1999, 2000
  Australia Karrie Webb U.S. Women's Open 2 2000, 2001
  Sweden Annika Sörenstam Kraft Nabisco Championship 2 2001, 2002
  Taiwan Yani Tseng Women's British Open 2 2010, 2011

Multiple major victories in a calendar yearEdit

Three victoriesEdit

  • 1950:   Babe Zaharias; Women's Western Open, U.S. Women's Open, and Titleholders Championship
  • 1961:   Mickey Wright; LPGA Championship, U.S. Women's Open, and Titleholders Championship
  • 1986:   Pat Bradley; Kraft Nabisco Championship, LPGA Championship, du Maurier Classic
  • 2013:   Inbee Park; Kraft Nabisco Championship, LPGA Championship, U.S. Women's Open

Note: These golfers are also included below in the Two victories section.

Two victoriesEdit

ANA Inspiration and LPGA ChampionshipEdit

ANA Inspiration and U.S. Women's OpenEdit

ANA Inspiration and Women's British OpenEdit

LPGA Championship and U.S. Women's OpenEdit

LPGA Championship and Women's British OpenEdit

U.S. Women's Open and Women's British OpenEdit

  • Never has occurred

ANA Inspiration and du Maurier ClassicEdit

  • 1984:   Juli Inkster
  • 1986:   Pat Bradley

LPGA Championship and du Maurier ClassicEdit

U.S. Women's Open and du Maurier ClassicEdit

  • Never occurred

Women's Western Open and LPGA ChampionshipEdit

Women's Western Open and U.S. Women's OpenEdit

Women's Western Open and Titleholders ChampionshipEdit

  • 1946:   Louise Suggs
  • 1948:   Patty Berg
  • 1950:   Babe Zaharias
  • 1955:   Patty Berg
  • 1957:   Patty Berg
  • 1962:   Mickey Wright

LPGA Championship and Titleholders ChampionshipEdit

  • 1961:   Mickey Wright

U.S. Women's Open and Titleholders ChampionshipEdit

  • 1950:   Babe Zaharias
  • 1961:   Mickey Wright

Record scoresEdit

The lowest score in relation to par recorded in a women's major championship was 21-under-par, by Chun In-gee at the 2016 Evian Championship.[8] Chun also holds the record for lowest aggregate score for 72-holes, at 263, for her performance at that tournament. The single round scoring record is 61 by Kim Hyo-joo at the 2014 Evian Championship. A score of 62 has been shot by Minea Blomqvist at the 2004 Women's British Open (third round), Lorena Ochoa at the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship (first round), and Mirim Lee at the 2016 Women's British Open (first round).

Rolex Annika Major AwardEdit

In 2014, the LPGA established the yearly Rolex Annika Major Award to recognize the overall best performance in the LPGA majors. Points are award for top-10 finishes in each major: 60 points for first place, 24 for second, down to 2 points for tenth place. The major winner with the most points at the end of the season wins the award. It is named after Annika Sörenstam.[9]

Year Winner Country Points Ref
2014 Michelle Wie   United States 84 [10]
2015 Inbee Park   South Korea 144 [11]
2016 Lydia Ko   New Zealand 102 [12]
2017 Ryu So-yeon   South Korea 78 [13]
2018 Ariya Jutanugarn   Thailand 88 [14]

Other regular toursEdit

In men's (non-senior) golf, the four majors are agreed globally. All the principal tours acknowledge the status of the majors via their sponsorship of the Official World Golf Ranking, and the prize money is official on the three richest regular tours (the PGA, European, and Japanese tours). This is not the case in women's golf, but the significance of this is limited, as the LPGA Tour is much more dominant in women's golf than the PGA Tour is in men's golf. For example, the BBC has been known to use the LPGA definition of women's majors without qualifying it. Also, before the Evian Masters was elevated to major status, the Ladies' Golf Union, the governing body for women's golf in the UK and Republic of Ireland and the organiser of the Women's British Open, stated on its official site that the Women's British Open is "the only Women's Major to be played outside the U.S."[15]

The Ladies European Tour does not sanction any of the LPGA majors which are played in the United States, and only has two events which it designates as majors on its schedule, namely the Women's British Open and The Evian Championship (historically the Evian Masters), which is played in France. The Ladies European Tour had long tacitly acknowledged the dominance of the LPGA Tour by not scheduling any of its events to conflict with any of the LPGA majors played in the U.S., but that changed slightly in 2008 when the LET scheduled a tournament opposite the LPGA Championship. Also, while the LPGA Tour did not recognize the then-Evian Masters as a major until 2013, it began co-sanctioning the tournament as a regular tour event in 2000. Because it was played the week before the Women's British Open (except in 2012, when the latter event was moved to September to avoid conflict with the London Olympics), and the purse was (and remains) one of the largest on the LPGA Tour, virtually all top LPGA players played the Evian Masters before its elevation to major status. The Evian Championship has now moved to September. (During the 2006–08 period, its winner also received an automatic berth in the LPGA Tour Championship.)

The LPGA of Japan Tour, which is the second richest women's golf tour[citation needed], has its own set of four majors: the World Ladies, the Japan Open, the JLPGA Championship and the JLPGA Tour Championship. However, these events attract little notice outside Japan, and to a lesser degree South Korea (since a number of Koreans now play on the Japan tour).

Symetra TourEdit

Since 2006, the Symetra Tour, the LPGA's developmental tour known through 2011 as the Futures Tour, has designated the Tate & Lyle Players Championship, an event which has been held since 1985, as a major championship. It was the Tour's first $100,000 purse.

Women's senior golfEdit

Professional women's senior golf is in its infancy, and does not yet have a roster of majors. The Legends Tour, originally the Women's Senior Golf Tour, played its first season in 2001.

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ "LPGA Adds The Evian as a Major Championship in 2013" (Press release). LPGA. July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  2. ^ "PGA of America, LPGA, KPMG join forces for KPMG Women's PGA Championship". PGA of America. May 29, 2014.
  3. ^ LPGA Major Championship Winners
  4. ^ "The Long, Strange Trip of Major Championships in Women's Golf". Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  5. ^ Order in 2013: Kraft Nabisco, LPGA Championship, U.S. Open, British Open, Evian
  6. ^ "Countdown to the Hall - Inbee Park Achieves Career Grand Slam at RICOH Women's British Open". LPGA.
  7. ^ "Inbee Park's Women's British Open win sparks 'career grand slam' debate". SB Nation.
  8. ^ "In Gee Chun finishes at 21 under for lowest 72-hole score in a major". ESPN. Associated Press. 19 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Rolex Annika Major Award – Structure 2014". LPGA. April 4, 2014.
  10. ^ Mell, Randall (September 14, 2014). "Wie wins inaugural Annika Major Award". Golf Channel.
  11. ^ "Inbee Park Presented with the 2015 Rolex Annika Major Award". LPGA. September 12, 2015.
  12. ^ "Lydia Ko Wins 2016 Rolex Annika Major Award". LPGA. September 18, 2016.
  13. ^ Mell, Randall (September 17, 2017). "ANA winner Ryu takes Annika Major Award". Golf Channel.
  14. ^ "Ariya Jutanugarn Wins 2018 Rolex Annika Major Award". LPGA. September 17, 2018.
  15. ^ "Women's British Open breaks new ground at St Andrews". Ladies' Golf Union. Retrieved April 1, 2007.