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Here are the amateurs who have won an LPGA event, including Lydia Ko

Here are the amateurs who have won an LPGA event, including Lydia Ko

Winning a professional event as an amateur is one of the greatest feats one can achieve in golf. Whether on the men’s side or women’s, it’s one of the rarest feats in the sport.

However, for those who have done it, it is a lifetime achievement and can prove to be the start of an incredible career.

Lydia Ko is the last amateur to win an LPGA event, and she has two titles to her name on tour as an amateur. Before her, it was 43 years prior that an amateur won on the LPGA, and it’s a familiar name that Ko knocked off the top of the mountain.

Here’s a look at the five amateurs – that’s it, just five – who have won an LPGA event.

Polly Riley. Credit: Denver Post (Denver Post via Getty Images)

The 1950 Tampa Open was the first LPGA event in the history of the tour. And it was amateur Polly Riley who won it. Riley was a six-time member of the U.S. Curtis Cup team and she beat a field that included Babe Zaharias and Patty Berg at Palma Ceia Country Club.

The second amateur to win on the LPGA was Pat O’Sullivan. She captured the 1951 Titleholders Championship, which was played from 1937-66 and again in 1972. The LPGA considers all of its winners to be major champions.

The tournament took place at Augusta Country Club in Augusta, Georgia.

French golfer Catherine Lacoste in action, UK, 8th October 1969. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Perhaps the most notable victory is Catherine Lacoste, the French amateur who won the 1967 U.S. Women’s Open. She was the first international winner of the U.S. Women’s Open and at the time the youngest winner (22 years old).

Lacoste led by five strokes after three rounds at The Homestead (Cascades Course) in Hot Springs, Virginia, however even with a final-round 79, she won by two strokes over Susie Maxwell and Beth Stone.

JoAnne Carner reacts to her tee shot at the second hole during a practice round at the 2022 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio. (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

JoAnne Carner won the LPGA season-opener in 1969, the Burdine’s Invitational. At age 29, Carner was well known for her amateur prowess. She won the U.S. Girls’ Junior in 1956, a college championship in 1960 and won five U.S. Women’s Amateur titles between 1957 and 1968.

She finished her career with 44 LPGA wins and two U.S. Women’s Open victories.


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