The LPGA’s 2023 season ended on Sunday, with 16-year tour veteran Amy Yang winning the CME Group Tour Championship and earning a $2 million first-place check, Lilia Vu claiming Player of the Year honors and Atthaya Thitikul grabbing the Vare Trophy for best scoring average despite going winless during the season.
Before turning the page on the year, it’s worth looking back at some of the most intriguing stats we unearthed from 2023. Here are 11 numbers that offer a snapshot into the
Approximate total mileage between all 35 LPGA events this season, including the Hanwha LifePlus International Crown in San Francisco and the Solheim Cup in Spain. For a frame of reference, that dizzying amount is three trips around the earth’s circumference (or almost six times as far as Forest Gump ran during his five-time trip across the United States).
Players who won for the first time on the LPGA Tour in 2023. The asterisk is due to a quirky LPGA rule. Because Mone Inami did not immediately accept LPGA membership upon winning the Toto Japan Classic in October, the most recent player to win for the first time on the LPGA, she is not included in the LPGA first-time winners category. Even without Inami, the 12 official first-time winners set a new tour record, breaking the 11 from 2022.
The average age, in years, of winners on the LPGA in 2023, down from 27.32 in 2022. Only two players 30 or older won this year, with Ashleigh Buhai (34.08) at the ShopRite LPGA Classic alongside Yang (34.31). The youngest winner was Alexa Pano, who turned 19 the day she claimed the title at the ISPS Handa World Invitational in August. Pano was one of two teens to win in 2023, joining Chanetee Wanassean at the Cambia Portland Classic.
Number of players who earned more than $1 million on the LPGA Tour during the 2023 season, up from 15 in 2021. This season saw several money-related records broken on tour, with the overall prize money payout exceeding $100 million for the first time. Three players earned more than $3 million in the season (Vu, Yang, and Allisen Corpuz), also a first.
Number of LPGA events that required playoffs to decide a winner. (Yes, Jim Mora, we’re talking about playoffs.) The final one came at the Maybank Championship in October, and it was memorable for its length, Celine Boutier and Atthaya Thitikul going an extra nine holes before the Frenchwoman (below) bested the Thai. Boutier won the first and last playoff of the year, also taking down Georgia Hall at the Drive On Championship at Superstition Mountain in March.
The last time the United States won an LPGA team competition, including two winless appearances at the International Crown (2018, 2023) and three in the Solheim Cups (2019, 2021, 2023). After failing to take the Cup back in Spain this year following a 14-14 draw, the Americans have a chance for redemption just outside of the nation’s capital at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., net September.
Spots Lilia Vu moved up in the Rolex Women’s Ranking from the end of her rookie season on the LPGA Tour in 2019 to the end of 2023. Back in 2019, Vu made one cut in nine starts before facing a demotion to the Epson Tour. It wasn’t until 2022 that she would make another start on the LPGA Tour. In 2023, she made 19 starts and won four times, including two majors, to become the first American since Stacy Lewis in 2014 to win the Rolex POY honor.
Years since a woman had won in her professional debut on the LPGA Tour until Rose Zhang accomplished the feat in June at the Mizuho Americas Open. The amateur phenom followed in the footsteps of Beverly Hanson, who won the 1951 Eastern Open in her first pro start on the LPGA Tour, which was in just its second season at the time. Zhang’s win allowed her to claim LPGA membership and made her eligible for the U.S. Solheim Cup team, which she was picked for later in the year. The vaunted young American talent (below) ended her rookie year in 25th in the World Ranking after starting at 482nd.
Number of wins by players who were in the top 10 in the Rolex Women’s Ranking at the start of the 2023 season. There were half as many wins by the top talents in the world at the start of the season as there were first-time winners. Six of them went winless this year, as Lydia Ko, Nelly Korda, Thitikul, Thompson, In Gee Chun, and Nasa Hataoka couldn’t get a victory. Jin Young Ko and Minjee Lee won twice, and Hyo Joo Kim, alongside Brooke Henderson, won once each.
Number of players who were ranked World No. 1 at one point in 2023. Lydia Ko, Nelly Korda, Jin Young Ko, Lilia Vu, and Ruoning Yin all spent time at the top of the rankings, marking the first season in ranking history that multiple Americans took the mantle as the No. 1 player in the world in a single season. It ties 2017 for the most number of players at the top of the rankings in a single season.
Lexi Thompson’s average driving distance during her October appearance in the PGA Tour’s Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas. The 28-year-old had had a a spotty year on the LPGA, but earned praise for her performance in becoming the third Thompson sibling (along with brothers Curtis and Nicholas) in playing a PGA Tour event. While she missed the cut by three strokes at TPC Summerlin, she beat her LPGA season driving distance average (271.4) by an impressive 30 yards.