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The Top Five Female Golfers of All Time

By Edited Mar 1, 2016 2 1

“These Girls Rock;” this slogan was chosen by the LPGA in 2005 as the brand communications platform to highlight the outstanding players on the circuit. There is no doubt that the LPGA has some major talent but we should not forget the phenomenal LPGA ladies of the past. Their major accomplishments and contributions to women’s golf blazed the trail for the LPGA stars of today and tomorrow, and these women have always rocked!   

Kathy Whitworth

Kathy Whitworth holds the record for the most LPGA official tournament wins with 88 (1962-85). This surpasses the PGA record of 82 career wins by male golfer, Sam Snead. 

Whitworth was born Sept. 27, 1939, in Monahans, Texas and began playing golf at the age of 15. She won the New Mexico State Amateur in 1957 and 1958. Whitworth turned pro in 1958 and won her first LPGA event four years later in 1962 at the Kelly Girl Open.

Whitworth’s accomplishments include winning a minimum of one tournament every year from 1962 through 1978 -17 years, the longest streak in LPGA history.  She also had several wins in 1965 - 8; in 1966 - 9; in 1967 - 8; and in 1968 - 10.

Her career includes the LPGA record for most consecutive seasons with a victory - 17 (1962-78); most career seasons with a victory – 22; most Vare Trophies - 7 (from 1965-67, and 1969-72; award began in 1953); most times finishing first on the season-ending money list – 8 (1965-68, 1970-73; Tied with Annika Sörenstam); first to reach $1 million - July 26, 1981 (599 events; 1981 U.S. Women’s Open).

Whitworth served three terms as President of the LPGA Executive Board, where she was instrumental in creating policy and campaigning for the growth of the LPGA Tour.

Kathy Whitworth once said "No one ever conquers golf."

Annika Sörenstam

Annika Sörenstam is known as “Miss 59” because she is the only female golfer to shoot a score of 59 in a competition.  Born October 9, 1970 in Sweden, Sörenstam made history at the Bank of America Colonial tournament in 2003 as the first woman to play in a men's PGA Tour event since 1945. Often known simply as "Annika," she achieved the fame of male golfers known in the same way: Arnie (Arnold Palmer), Jack (Nicklaus) and Tiger (Woods). Her growing off-course interests include the ANNIKA golf academy, golf course design, ANNIKA-branded products, and a charitable foundation.

Her accomplishments are many, most notably: Most consecutive wins at the same tournament 5, The Mizuno Classic, 2001-05; Lowest second round 59 (-13), 2001 Standard Register PING; Most consecutive rounds in 60s: (1st place) 14, 2005 Chick-fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez, 67-64-67-67; LPGA Corning Classic (two weeks later), 69-68-69-69; ShopRite LPGA Classic (the next week), 67-65-64; and the first three rounds at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola the next week, 68-67-69; Most birdies in one round 13, Moon Valley Country Club, Phoenix, Arizona; Most Rolex Player of the Year awards (began in 1966) 8, (1995, 1997-98, 2001-05); Most times finishing first on the season-ending money list (tied with Kathy Whitworth); 8 (1995, 1997-98, 2001-05); First to reach $2 million in single-season earnings, Nov. 18, 2001 (26 events);Most consecutive $2 million seasons: 5, 2001-05; First to reach $22 million, May 11, 2008 (289 events; 2008 Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill).

(Mildred Ella) "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias

Mildred Ella Didrikson Zaharias, known as the Babe was the greatest golfer of her time. Born June 26, 1911, she was an American athlete who achieved outstanding success in golf, basketball, and track and field. Zaharias was named the 10th Greatest North American Athlete of the 20th Century by ESPN, and the 9th Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century by the Associated Press.

In 1945, Zaharias played four PGA Tour events, and made the 36-hole cut in three of them. No other woman, to date, can claim such success. Professional golfer, Patty Berg once said finishing second to Babe was like winning. Her accomplishments include Most majors won, season3, 1950 (U.S. Women’s Open, Titleholders, Western Open)*Only three majors were held in 1950. Fastest to reach 10 wins, 1 year, 20 days, 1951 Tampa Women’s Open (does not include her 10 wins prior to the inception of the LPGA) Fastest to reach 20 wins, 2 years, 4 months, 1952 Bakersfield Open (does not include her 10 wins prior to the inception of the LPGA).

Mickey Wright

Golfer Mickey Wright was born on February 14, 1935 and was an American professional golfer. Her accomplishments include Most official tournament wins in one season: 13, 1963; Youngest to reach 30 wins, 26 years, 11 months, 7 days, 1962 at the Sea Island Women’s Invitational; Fastest to reach 40 wins, 8 years, 1 month, 2 days, 1963 at the Sea Island Women’s Invitational; Youngest to reach 40 wins, 27 years, 11 months, 20 days, 1963 at the Sea Island Women’s Invitational; Fastest to reach 50 wins, 8 years, 8 months, 21 days, 1963 at the Visalia Ladies’ Open; Youngest to reach 50 wins, 28 years, 7 months, 8 days, 1963 at the Visalia Ladies’ Open, member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Nancy Lopez

Nancy Lopez, born  on January 6, 1957, in Torrance, California; at the age of 22 had 10 LPGA wins and holds the record for the youngest player to reach 10 wins. She once said "The simpler I keep things, the better I play." Her other accomplishments includeMost consecutive wins in tournaments participated 5, 1978 (Greater Baltimore Classic, May 12-14; Coca-Cola Classic, May 19-21; Golden Lights Championship, May 26-29; did not play Peter Jackson Classic, June 1-4; LPGA Championship, June 8-11; Bankers Trust Classic, June 16-18); Youngest to reach 10 wins 22 years, 2 months, 5 days, 1979 Sunstar Classic; Youngest to reach 20 wins, 23 years, 7 months, 26 days, 1980 Rail Charity Golf Classic; Member, World Golf Hall of Fame; Winner of 3 LPGA Major Championships in 1978, 1985, 1989.

When you think about the difficulty of golf and how the average golfer, male or female, can never hope to play even remotely as well as these women. In addition, most of professional golfers, male or female, will never accomplish anything close to the achievements of these great women of golf. It is easy to see why these women are the top five female golfers of all time; their accomplishments are phenomenal by any standards! The top five female golfers of all time rock!

For interesting information on other topics see the following articles:

Golf ~ A Four Letter Word
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons The Modern Fundamentals of Golf  
The Top Southern California Amusement Parks for Summer Fun

 

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Comments

May 9, 2011 8:58am
dadbintheadmin
Great article! It's good to see names of female golfers, especially the ones of the past.
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