fbpx
Women's PGA Championship history

The history of the Women’s PGA Championship

It’s coming up to its 70th anniversary, but what is the history of the Women’s PGA Championship?

 

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is the second oldest of the five current women’s majors, dating to 1955, but what is the history of the tournament?

Of the five women’s majors, only the US Women’s Open outdates the Women’s PGA Championship. It is also one of three majors each year that takes place in the United States.

Apart from the very first edition of the Women’s PGA, the tournament has been a four day stroke play competition. The 1955 edition saw three rounds of stroke play, followed by match play on Sunday to determine the final order.

Americans would dominate the early years of the tournament, winning all bar four editions through to 1993. Since then, the history books have seen plenty of different flags for the winners.

  • NOW READ: Everything you need to know about the Women’s PGA Championship

The tournament began life as the LPGA Championship, an event run solely by the LPGA Tour for the first six decades of its history.

Throughout those 60 years, there were a number of sponsorship changes, with Mazda, McDonald’s, AIG, Coca-Cola and Wegmans all in the title name.

There were also runs of the event being held at the same venue. The Jack Nicklaus Sports Center in Ohio played host to the tournament for 12 consecutive years from 1978 to 1989.

DuPont Country Club (11), Pleasant Valley (7), Stardust Country Club (6), Bulle Rock (5), Bethesda Country Club (4), and Locust Hill Country Club (4) are the other venues to host the Women’s PGA Championship on more than two occasions.

Mickey Wright is the most successful golfer in the history of the Women’s PGA Championship. The American won the event four times, with victories in 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1963.

The last of those wins came at Stardust Country Club, where Wright finished the tournament 10-over, but still held on to win by two shots.

Compare that to the scoring record to par of 19-under, which has been achieved on four occasions. Cristie Kerr (2010), Yani Tseng (2011), Inbee Park (2015) and Nelly Korda (2021) all won the tournament at -19.

Kerr was the first, and her victory was by an incredible 12 shots at Locust Hill, the biggest margin of victory in tournament history. Sei-Young Kim holds the aggregate scoring record, shooting a 14-under 266 at the Par 70 Aronimink in 2020.

Two women – Annika Sorenstam and Inbee Park – are the only women to have won the Women’s PGA Championship in three successive years.

Sorenstam made history when she did so in 2003, 2004 and 2005, while South Korea’s Inbee Park did so exactly a decade later, winning her three titles in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Patty Sheehan and Se Ri Pak are the other women to have won this tournament on three occasions.

Following the 2015 edition of the event, the PGA of America took over the reigns. It was renamed the Women’s PGA Championship for the 2016 edition, to bring it in line with the men’s PGA Championship.

Since then, all bar two winners of the tournament have claimed their maiden major title in doing so. Brooke Henderson was the first, and she was the victor at Sahalee in 2016, the first time the tournament was held at the Washington venue.

Danielle Kang (2017), Hannah Green (2019), Sei-Young Kim (2020) and Nelly Korda (2021) all claimed their first major victory by winning the Women’s PGA.

China’s Ruoning Yin (below) is the defending champion, having won by a single shot in 2023. It was also her first major, as she became just the second Chinese player to win the tournament.

Ruoning Yin Women's PGA Championship 2023

Following the 2024 edition at Sahalee, the Women’s PGA Championship will move to PGA Frisco for 2025. The Texan venue will also hold the 2031 edition of the tournament.

Hazeltine National (2026) and Congressional (2027) are also slated to host the Women’s PGA Championship in the next few years, both for the second time.

  • NOW READ: Future, present and past venues of the Women’s PGA Championship

Have your say on the history of the Women’s PGA Championship

What has been the defining moment in the history of the Women’s PGA Championship for you? Let us know by leaving a comment on X!

Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

Latest Posts

Women's PGA Championship

LPGA

Women’s PGA Championship: Everything you need to know

By

Read full article about Women’s PGA Championship: Everything you need to know
Women's PGA Championship field

LPGA

Women’s PGA Championship field: Who’s playing at Sahalee?

By

Read full article about Women’s PGA Championship field: Who’s playing at Sahalee?
Sahalee Country Club Women's PGA Championship

LPGA

Women’s PGA Championship venues: Past, present and future

By

Read full article about Women’s PGA Championship venues: Past, present and future
yuka saso

LPGA

Yuka Saso secures second US Women’s Open title in historic fashion

By

Read full article about Yuka Saso secures second US Women’s Open title in historic fashion
Women's PGA Championship qualify

LPGA

How to qualify for the Women’s PGA Championship

By

Read full article about How to qualify for the Women’s PGA Championship
Brooke Henderson Women's PGA Championship winners

LPGA

Winners of the Women’s PGA Championship

By

Read full article about Winners of the Women’s PGA Championship
LPGA Tour 2024 schedule

LPGA

LPGA Tour 2024 schedule and results

By

Read full article about LPGA Tour 2024 schedule and results
US Women's Open

LPGA

We’ve got a showdown! Three-way tie at US Women’s Open summit

By

Read full article about We’ve got a showdown! Three-way tie at US Women’s Open summit

LPGA

Fair or foul? Did the US Women’s Open course set up cross a line?

By

Read full article about Fair or foul? Did the US Women’s Open course set up cross a line?