Golf News

Players poised to win for the first time on the LPGA

2023 U.S. Women's Open

Bailey Tardy won her first LPGA title on Sunday at the Blue Bay LPGA in China, bucking the 2024 trend of winners that have all been major champions. The who’s who list of champions — Lydia Ko, Nelly Korda, Patty Tavatanakit and Hannah Green — so far this season stands in stark contrast to what the tour saw in 2023.

Last year, a record 12 players were Rolex First-Time winners, up from a record-tying 11 in 2022 (first set in 1995). Actually, 13 players won for the first time last year, but because Mone Inami did not become an official member in 2023, deferring to 2024, she’s not recognized as a Rolex First-Time winner.

After Tardy’s victory in China, she moved up 85 spots in the Rolex Rankings to No. 84. Who might be the next first-time winner? Here are 10 players waiting for that breakout moment (with Rolex Ranking):

Xiyu Janet Lin tees off on the ninth hole during the first round of the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif. on Thursday, July 6, 2023. (Darren Carroll/USGA)

While China’s Lin recently won on the Ladies European Tour in Hong Kong — her third title on that tour — she has yet to break through on the LPGA. Lin has amassed five runner-up finishes over the past two seasons. She tied for third at the 2023 KPMG Women’s PGA.

NAPLES, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 19: Alison Lee of the United States plays her shot from the 11th tee during the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club on November 19, 2023 in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Lee finished last season with runner-up showings in her last three LPGA starts. In the middle of it that run, she also won on the LET. Lee’s 2024 season, however, got off to a slow start after she suffered from dog bite that left her hospitalized. Lee tied for 51st in her first start to the season at the HSBC.

2023 Chevron Championship

Hye-Jin Choi of South Korea plays her shot from the 12th tee during the third round of The Chevron Championship at The Club at Carlton Woods on April 22, 2023 in The Woodlands, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

After a runner-up showing as an amateur at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open, it seemed that an LPGA victory would be around the corner for the young South Korean. Choi has since notched two more second-place finishes on the LPGA and a third at the 2022 USWO but has yet to see the winner’s circle.


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