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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Top Ten Female Golfers of All Time

Golf is a game mainly for the rich people. However, it does not mean that golf does not have any appeal to middle class or lower middle class people. Golf has many loyal fans across the world has introduced many great players. Here, in this article, I am going to introduce you with the top ten female golf players of all time. No doubt, many of you might disagree with me on the players I included in my list. Well, I will really appreciate you to share your opinions about top ten women’s golfers of all time in the comment section. I would also like to say that there are many other players who were left out of the list, but they could have made it to the list by their own. That is why, I have included some other great female golfers in the end.

Patricia Jane Berg

Patricia Berg is perhaps the greatest ever female golfer of all time, considering her contribution to the game in the formative years of women’s golf. Both as an administrator as well as a player, Berg played a phenomenal role in women’s golf. In fact, she was one of the founding members of Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. Then as a player, Patricia Berg went on to win 60 LPGA tour titles including record 15 major titles during her glorious career. No other female golfer could yet win more major titles than Patricia Berg. Among her 15 major titles, Patricia Berg won 7 in Titleholders Championship, 7 in Women’s Western Open and one in U.S. Women’s Open.

Born on 13 February 1918 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, Patricia Berg came to golf in 1931 and turned amateur three years later in 1934. In the same year she turned amateur in golf, Berg won her first title. She also served as a lieutenant in Marines during World War II, but before that, she turned professional in 1940 after winning 29 amateur titles. After the war, she became the first president of LPGA in 1948. This legendary golfer won her last career title in 1962. LPGA introduced an award named Patty Berg Award in her memorial. Patricia Berg won the Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year award three times in 1938, 1942 and 1955. She was awarded the highest honor by the United States Golf Association, Bob Jones Award, in 1963 for her immense contribution to the game. Old Tom Morris Award was also awarded to her Golf Course Superintendents Association of America in 1986. Patricia Berg is now considered to be a mother figure in women’s golf.

Kathy Whitworth

There are many who consider Kathy Whitworth as the greatest ever female golfer the game has seen. In fact, this American legend achieved something in professional circuit that many legendary female golfers could not achieve. Kathy Whitworth’s 88 LPGA tour titles have made her the record holder of most career tour titles both in LPGA and PGA. Among the female golfers, Kathy Whitworth was the first to reach the career earning mark of $1 million which she achieved in 1981. Among her 6 major titles, Kathy Whitworth won 3 LPGA Championship titles, 2 Titleholders Championship titles and one Women’s Western Open title.

Kathy Whitworth was born on September 27, 1939 in Monahans, Texas, USA and took up golf at the age of 15. During her amateur career, Whitworth won New Mexico State Amateur Championship titles in 1957 and 1958, before turning professional at the age of 19 in 1958. Kathy Whitworth started her winning run in LPGA tour by winning the Kelly Girls Open in 1962 and won her last career title at United Virginia Bank Classic in 1985. She became LPGA Player of the Year on seven occasions between 1966 and 1973. During his illustrious career, Kathy Whitworth won the Vare Trophy for record seven times in between 1965 and 1972. In 1990, she represented US team in the first Solheim Cup match in 1990. This legendary figure of women’s golf was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1975, many years before her retirement.

Mary Kathryn “Mickey” Wright

Mickey Wright is another legendary figure of women’s golf. During her short career, Wright won 82 LPGA tour titles including 13 major titles, placing herself at the second spot in the list of both all-time highest LPGA tour titles as well as all-time highest LPGA major titles. With 82 LPGA tour titles, Wright is also second to Kathy Whitworth who has 88 tour wins, and with 13 major titles, she is second to Patty Berg’s 15 career major titles. However, you should note here that almost all these titles she won before her retirement as a full-time golfer at the age of 34. Mickey Wright was forced to go into retirement because of her feet problems. After her retirement from full time golf in 1969, Mickey Wright took part in golf tournaments occasionally.

Mickey Wright was born on February 14, 1935 in USA. She was at the peak of her career during 1958-1966 when she won 12 out of her 13 LPGA major titles. In the history of LPGA tour, Mickey Wright is the only golfer who could hold all of the four major titles approved by LPGA at the same time. She was the highest earner for four seasons in a row in between 1961 and 1964 and was in the list of top ten earners for 13 times. Mickey Wright was well-known for her swing shots. After her retirement from full-time golf, she could win one title at the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle in 1973. Golf Digest magazine ranked Mickey Wright at the 9th in the list of greatest golfer of all time (including both male and female golfer) and she is the highest ranked female golfer in the list published in 2000. Mickey Wright is now suffering from breast cancer which she was diagnosed with in 2006. There is no doubt, Mickey Wright could give more to women’s golf had her physical ailment not forced her into an early retirement.

Annika Sorenstam

Many believe that by the time Annika Sorenstam will retire from professional golf, she will have almost all the LPGA record to her credit and will be considered to be the greatest female golfer of all time. Well, there is enough justification of such claim too. At the age of 38, Annika Sorenstam has already won 72 LGPA tour titles including 10 major titles during her 16-year-long career. With such record, she has already become of the greatest ever female golfers of all time and you should not be surprised to see Sorenstam surpassing Patty Berg’s record 15 major titles as well as Kathy Whitworth’s record LPGA tour titles. In fact, the Swedish golfer won 90 international tournaments including 72 LPGA tour tournaments. Among her 10 LPGA major titles, she won 3 U.S. Women’s Open titles, 3 Kraft Nabisco Championship titles, 3 LPGA Championship titles and one Women’s British Open title.

Born on 9 October 1970 in Sweden, Annika Sorenstam had interest in ski and soccer, but at the age of 12, she took up golf. She had lots of success during her amateur career as well before turning professional in 1992. At present, Annika Sorenstam leads the of LPGA’s career money list with her career total earnings of over $22 million which is over $8 million more than her closest rival.

Babe Zaharias

Babe Zaharias is a legend not only in women’s golf, but also in women’s sports. In fact, along with Lottie Dod, Babe Zaharias is considered to be the most versatile female competitor of all time, according to Guinness Book of Records. Besides tennis, she had success in basketball as well as in track and field. Zaharias won two gold medals and one silver medal in 1932 Los Angles Olympic Games. One park as well as a museum is named after Babe Zaharias in America. Babe Zaharias used to play several other sports in her early life as well. She was nicknamed ‘Babe’ after legendary baseball player Babe Ruth as she hit five home runs in a baseball match.

Babe Zaharias was born on 26 July 1911 and tool up golf by 1935. As she was a latecomer in golf, it was not easy for Zaharias to establish herself as a professional player. She was not even given the amateur status and was forced to start her professional career with a men’s PGA tournament, Los Angeles Open in 1938. However, gradually Babe Zaharias flourished her golf career and won 41 LPGA tour titles including 10 major tiles during her illustrious career. Among her 10 major titles, she won 4 Women’s Western Open titles, 3 Titleholders Championship titles and 3 U.S. Women’s Open titles. This great female golfer could have won more accolades had colon cancer not taken her life at the age of 45. Even at the time of her death, Babe Zaharias was leading the female golfers.

Louise Suggs

Louise Suggs is one of the finest ever female tennis players in the history of women’s tennis. With 58 LPGA tour titles, she stands fifth in the list of all-time highest tour winners. With 11 LPGA major titles, Louise Suggs is placed third after Patty Berg and Mickey Wright in the list of all-time highest major titles winners. When at her best, Louise Suggs could dominate over any other golfers. During 1950-1960, Suggs was in the top 3 of the highest earners’ ten times. That means she was out of the top three only once during this time.

Born on September 7, 1923 in Atlanta, Georgia, Louise Suggs was one of the founders of LPGA in 1950 and she was LPGA’s president from 1955 to 1957. Suggs was very successful in her amateur career too winning lots of titles. The legendary golfer turned professional in 1948, but even before turning professional, she had three LPGA major titles to her credit. In 1946, she won the Titleholders Championship, Women’s Western Open titles and won the Women’s Western Open title in 1947. Among her 11 major titles, Louise Suggs won 4 Titleholders Championship titles, 4 Women’s Western Open titles, 2 U.S. Women’s Open titles and one LPGA Championship title. She was the first inductee of LPGA Tour Hall of Fame and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1979. An award named “Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award” has been introduced in her memorial and is given to the most successful rookie player of the year. Louise Suggs was also awarded the Bob Jones Award by the United States Golf Association for her contribution to golf.

Elizabeth Earle “Betsy” Rawl

Betsy Rawls is another great golfer in the history of LPGA who played golf for more than two decades. Turned professional in 1951, Betsy Rawls went on to win 55 LPGA tour titles including 8 LPGA major titles during her glorious career. With 55 LPGA tour wins and 8 major titles, she takes the sixth place in the all-time lists of highest tour winners as well as highest major title winners. Betsy Rawls won her first major title in her first year on professional circuit in 1951 winning the title of U.S. Women’s Open. Rawls won 4 U.S. Women’s Open titles, 2 Women’s Western Open titles and 2 LPGA Championship titles.

Born on 4 May 1928 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA, Betsy Rawls studied at the University of Texas at Austin before taking up golf as a profession. She was the highest earner in LPGA tour in 1959 and was in the top ten list of season-ending highest earners ten times during 1957-1970. United States Golf Association awarded its highest honor Bob Jones Award to Betsy Rawls in 1996.

Karrie Webb:

One of Australia’s most successful female golfer and one of the most successful female professional golfers in women’s golf circuit, Karrie Anne Webb, was born in December 21, 1974. Webb started out as an amateur. As a member of the Australian Amateur team, Karrie Webb made six international appearances between 1992 and 1994. This includes the Espirito Santo Trophy World Amateur Golf Team Championships where, she became Australian Strokeplay Champion. Webb started out as a professional golfer in 1994. She appeared on the Ladies European Tour and obtained the second place at the Australian Ladies Open. In the Futures Tour in the US, she won one tournament. In 1995, Karrie Webb became the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Weetabix Women’s British Open in Europe before it was considered to be an LPGA major. By winning this tournament, she became the European Rookie of the Year. In 1996, Karrie Webb won her first LPGA tournament at HEALTHSOUTH Inaugural on the fourth hole. She won three other tournaments and became the first LPGA player to win $1 million in total in a single season. She became one of the top money makers of the year. In 1997, Karrie Webb won three LPGA tournaments including her second win at that Weetabix Women’s British Open. In the tournament she won her first Vare Trophy and was voted 1997 ESPY Best Female Golfer. Two years later, Webb won her first major championship at the du Maurier Classic and won her first LPGA Tour Player of the Year award.

Patty Sheehan:

An American female professional golfer, Patty Sheehan became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1980. Sheehan started her golf playing career in high school. She attended the University of Nevada and moved to San Jose State University. Between 1972 and 1974, Sheehan won tree Nevada High School Championships. From 1977-78, she won the California Women’s Amateurs two times. In 1979, she became the runner-up at the 1979 U.S. Women’s Amateur. In 1980 Sheehan became the AIAW national collegiate champion. In 1981, Sheehan won LPGA Rookie of the Year award. That year, she won the Mazda Japan Classic golf tournament. As one of the top female golfers, Sheehan ruled in the 80s. In 1983 and 1984, she won four times and won the LPGA Championship in both seasons. In 1983, Sheehan became LPGA Tour Player of the Year in 1983. In 1987, she was among the athletes who were named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. Sheehan won five championships in 1990. She won the U.S Women’s Open in 1992 and 1994. She also won the LPGA Championship in 1994 and the Nabisco Dinah Shore aka the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She is also famous for being the first LPGA player to publicly announce that she was a lesbian. Sheehan got married to her partner, Rebecca Gaston and adopted two children.

In her successful career, Sheehan won 6 major championships and 35 LPGA Tour victories.

Juli Inkster

Juli Inkster is one of the most popular female golf players today. With 31 LPGA tour titles including 7 major titles, Juli Inkster has already written her name among the greats of women’s greats. By the time, she finishes her career, Juli Inkster, 48, could become one of the greatest ever player in the history of women’s golf. Among the LPGA major titles she won so far, 2 came in Kraft Nabisco Championship, 2 came in U.S. Open, 2 in McDonald’s LPGA and one in Du Maurier Classic. Outside LPGA, she also won 6 titles.

Born on June 24, 1960 in Santa Cruz, California, USA as Juli Simpson, Inkster turned professional in 1983. Besides individual successes, Juli Inkster represented USA with sheer success in many tournaments. She was in the United States Solheim Cup team seven times. Juli Inkster along with Pat Hurst represented USA in the Women’s World Cup of Golf in 2007. She was awarded the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportwoman of the Year award in 1999. Juli Inkster was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.

Some Other Great Female Golfers: Laura Davies, Nancy Lopez, Sandra Haynie, JoAnne Carner, Carol Mann, Betsy King, Pat Bradley, Amy Alcott, Beth Daniel, Donna Caponi, Se Ri Pak, Lorena Ochoa, Marilynn Smith, Marlene Hagge, Jane Blalock, Hollis Stacy etc.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:45 PM

    money list all time?