US Women’s Open Winners and History

US Women’s Open Winners and History

In some ways, the history of the US Women’s Open reflects the history of inequity in women’s sports. It’s a young tournament, dating back to only 1946, whereas the equivalent (and generally male) US Open dates to 1895. This is, the USGA, suggests in its official history, due to a decided lack of women professionals until after the Second World War.

Along those lines, it’s also worthy of noting that unlike the US Open, it was not founded by the USGA, but rather by the pioneering, but short-lived Women’s Professional Golfers Association.  The first was a match play event at the Spokane Country Club, with the $19,700 purse contributed by a men’s fraternal organization out of slot machine proceeds. The USGA shortchanged the women then, as they did for decades with significantly lower purses. How this stood the test of gender parity, I don’t know.

US Women’s Open Winners and History

After three years, the WPGA turned the tournament over to the newly formed LPGA. It wasn’t until 1953 that it was first run by the USGA, which had been running the US Open, US Amateur and US Women’s Amateur since 1895.

Another distinction from the US Open: While the US Women’s Open is the oldest women’s tournament open to professionals and amateurs, it’s not universally considered a major in the golf world. Neither the European Ladies Professional Golf Tour, nor the Japan LPGA sanction the US Women’s Open.

Patty Berg won the first Women’s Open, defeating Betty Jameson 5 and 4 in the 36 hole final. That was the last Women’s Open that used match play. (Note that the PGA Championship used match play until 1957, after which it too abandoned the format).

Betsy Rawls was the winner of the first USGA sponsored championship. In all, Rawls would win four times, a feat matched only by Mickey Wright. The only amateur winner was Catherine Lacoste (daughter of Rene Lacoste), in 1967.

When the USGA assumed control of the championship, there were just 37 entrants. Reflecting the growth in womens’ sports, in 2010, there were 1,296 entries. Growth in women’s sports internationally also is on display as nine of the last 20 champions have been foreign born.

The US Women’s Open currently has the biggest purse in women’s golf, at $11 million, achieving near parity with the US Open.

The US Women’s Open is open to any female golfer with a handicap of 4.4 or lower. Qualifying consists of a single sectional state of 36 holes played on a single day. Exemptions come from eleven categories, including winners of the Women’s Open from the past ten years, major winners from the past five, the top 50 from the previous LPGA money list, the fop five from the Japan LPGA, Korea LPGA, and European LPGA money lists, and official winners of LPGA tournaments from the past year.

A list of all past winners is below:

YearChampionScoreTo ParMargin of
2023Allisen Corpuz279−93 strokes11,000,000Pebble Beach Golf Links
2022Minjee Lee271−134 strokes10,000,000Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club
2021Yuka Saso280−4Playoff5,500,000Olympic Club, Lake Course
2020Kim A-lim281−31 stroke5,500,000Champions Golf Club
2019Lee Jeong-eun278−62 strokes5,500,000Country Club of Charleston
2018Ariya Jutanugarn277−11Playoff5,000,000Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club
2017Park Sung-hyun277−112 strokes5,000,000Trump National Golf Club
2016Brittany Lang282−6Playoff4,500,000CordeValle Golf Club
2015Chun In-gee272−81 stroke4,500,000Lancaster Country Club
2014Michelle Wie278−22 strokes4,000,000Pinehurst Resort, Course No. 2
2013Inbee Park (2)280−84 strokes3,250,000Sebonack Golf Club
2012Na Yeon Choi281−74 strokes3,250,000Blackwolf Run, composite course
2011Ryu So-yeon281−3Playoff3,250,000Broadmoor Golf Club, East Course
2010Paula Creamer281−34 strokes3,250,000Oakmont Country Club
2009Ji Eun-hee284E1 stroke3,250,000Saucon Valley Country Club
2008Inbee Park283−94 strokes3,250,000Interlachen Country Club
2007Cristie Kerr279−52 strokes3,100,000Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club
2006Annika Sörenstam (3)284EPlayoff3,100,000Newport Country Club
2005Birdie Kim28732 strokes3,100,000Cherry Hills Country Club
2004Meg Mallon (2)274−102 strokes3,100,000The Orchards Golf Club
2003Hilary Lunke283−1Playoff3,100,000Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Witch Hollow Course
2002Juli Inkster (2)276−42 strokes3,000,000Prairie Dunes Golf Club
2001Karrie Webb (2)273−78 strokes2,900,000Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club
2000Karrie Webb282−65 strokes2,750,000Merit Club
1999Juli Inkster272−165 strokes1,750,000Old Waverly Golf Club
1998Pak Se-ri2906Playoff1,500,000Blackwolf Run, composite course
1997Alison Nicholas274−101 stroke1,300,000Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Witch Hollow Course
1996Annika Sörenstam (2)272−86 strokes1,200,000Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club
1995Annika Sörenstam278−21 stroke1,000,000Broadmoor Golf Club, East Course
1994Patty Sheehan (2)277−71 stroke850,000Indianwood Golf and Country Club, Old Course
1993Lauri Merten280−81 stroke800,000Crooked Stick Golf Club
1992Patty Sheehan280−4Playoff700,000Oakmont Country Club
1991Meg Mallon283−12 strokes600,000Colonial Country Club
1990Betsy King (2)284−41 stroke500,000Atlanta Athletic Club, Riverside Course
1989Betsy King278−24 strokes450,000Indianwood Golf and Country Club, Old Course
1988Liselotte Neumann277−73 strokes400,000Baltimore Country Club, Five Farms, East Course
1987Laura Davies285−3Playoff325,000Plainfield Country Club
1986Jane Geddes287−1Playoff300,000NCR Country Club
1985Kathy Baker280−83 strokes250,000Baltusrol Golf Club, Upper Course
1984Hollis Stacy (3)29021 stroke225,000Salem Country Club
1983Jan Stephenson29061 stroke200,000Cedar Ridge Country Club
1982Janet Alex283−56 strokes175,000Del Paso Country Club
1981Pat Bradley279−91 stroke150,000La Grange Country Club
1980Amy Alcott280−49 strokes140,000Richland Country Club
1979Jerilyn Britz284E2 strokes125,000Brooklawn Country Club
1978Hollis Stacy (2)28951 stroke100,000Country Club of Indianapolis
1977Hollis Stacy29242 strokes75,000Hazeltine National Golf Club
1976JoAnne Carner (2)2928Playoff60,000Rolling Green Golf Club
1975Sandra Palmer29574 strokes55,000Atlantic City Country Club
1974Sandra Haynie29571 stroke40,000La Grange Country Club
1973Susie Berning (3)29025 strokes40,000Country Club of Rochester
1972Susie Berning (2)299111 stroke40,000Winged Foot Golf Club, East Course
1971JoAnne Carner288E7 strokes31,000Kahkwa Club
1970Donna Caponi (2)28731 stroke20,000Muskogee Golf Club
1969Donna Caponi29421 stroke31,040Scenic Hills Country Club
1968Susie Berning28953 strokes25,000Moselem Springs Golf Club
1967Catherine Lacoste (a)29462 strokes25,000The Homestead
1966Sandra Spuzich29791 stroke20,000Hazeltine National Golf Club
1965Carol Mann29022 strokes17,780Atlantic City Country Club
1964Mickey Wright (4)290−2Playoff9,900San Diego Country Club
1963Mary Mills289−33 strokes9,000Kenwood Country Club
1962Murle Lindstrom301132 strokes8,000Dunes Golf and Beach Club
1961Mickey Wright (3)29356 strokes8,000Baltusrol Golf Club, Lower Course
1960Betsy Rawls (4)29241 stroke7,200Worcester Country Club
1959Mickey Wright (2)28772 strokes7,200Churchill Valley Country Club
1958Mickey Wright290−25 strokes7,200Forest Lake Country Club
1957Betsy Rawls (3)29976 strokes7,200Winged Foot Golf Club, East Course
1956Kathy Cornelius3027Playoff6,000Northland Country Club
1955Fay Crocker299114 strokes7,500Wichita Country Club
1954Babe Zaharias (3)291312 strokes7,500Salem Country Club
1953Betsy Rawls (2)3026Playoff7,500Country Club of Rochester
1952Louise Suggs (2)28487 strokes7,500Bala Golf Club
1951Betsy Rawls29355 strokes7,500Druid Hills Golf Club
1950Babe Zaharias (2)291−99 strokes5,000Rolling Hills Country Club
1949Louise Suggs291−914 strokes7,500Prince George’s Golf and Country Club
1948Babe Zaharias300E8 strokes7,500Atlantic City Country Club
1947Betty Jameson295−96 strokes7,500Starmount Forest Country Club
1946Patty Berg †5 & 419,700Spokane Country ClubSpokane, WA

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