LPGA’s 11 first-time winners came from nine countries in 2022 season

by | Nov 8, 2022 | LPGA

Gemma Dryburgh became the LPGA’s 11th first-time winner this season, which matches a tour record set in 1995. The players hail from nine different countries.

Two of the 11 first-time winners – Jennifer Kupcho and Ashleigh Buhai – won majors. Buhai became the 44th player to become a Rolex first-time winner at a major.

In 2018, there were 10 first-time winners: Jin Young Ko, Pernilla Lindberg, Moriya Jutanugarn, Annie Park, Nasa Hataoka, Thidapa Suwannapura, Georgia Hall, Marina Alex, Nelly Korda and Gaby Lopez.

Here’s a closer look at the 11 first-timers in 2022:

Jennifer Kupcho celebrates with The Dinah Shore Trophy after winning The Chevron Championship at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa on April 3, 2022, in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The first woman to hoist a trophy at Augusta National became, perhaps, the last woman to take the leap into Poppie’s Pond at the Chevron Championship.

Jennifer Kupcho broke through with her first victory at a major championship and then followed it up victories at the Meijer LPGA Classic and Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, with Solheim Cup partner Lizette Salas.

2022 LPGA Drive On Championship

Leona Maguire imitates a “selfie” as she poses with the trophy after winning the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony Golf & Country Club on Feb. 5, 2022, in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire headed into the final round of the LPGA Drive On Championship in a tie with Marina Alex and stepped into history as the first Irish woman to win on the LPGA after a closing 67.

Maguire led Europe to victory with 4.5 points at the 2021 Solheim Cup. A four-year player at Duke, she spent a record 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Nanna Koerstz Madsen

Nanna Koerstz Madsen poses with the trophy on the 18th green after winning the final round of Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course on March 13, 2022, in Pattaya, Thailand. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)

Nanna Koerstz Madsen began the final round in Thailand with an eagle and ended her day the same way, draining a 10-foot putt on the second playoff hole against Xiyu “Janet” Lin to secure her first LPGA title. Koerstz Madsen became the first player from Denmark to win on tour.

Koerstz Madsen set a new scoring record of 26-under 262 at the Honda LPGA Thailand. The very next week, she found herself in another playoff.

Atthaya Thitikul reacts on the final hole on the last day of the Honda LPGA Thailand at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya on May 9, 2021. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Thai prodigy Atthaya Thitikul closed with an 8-under 64, the round of the week, on Sunday at Aviara Golf Club to work her way into a playoff with Denmark’s Koerstz Madsen at the JTBC Classic.

Rookie Thitikul, who made history when she won her first LET title at age 14, prevailed on the second playoff hole, locking up her first LPGA victory in just her fifth start of 2022.

Trust Golf Women's Scottish Open

Ayaka Furue of Japan poses at the 18th green with the trophy as she wins the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links Golf Course on July 31, 2022, in Troon, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Japan’s Ayaka Furue torched Dundonald Links on Sunday in Ayrshire, Scotland, firing a course record and tournament record of 10-under 62 to overcome a four-stroke deficit and capture her first LPGA victory at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open.

Furue, a seven-time winner in Japan, became the second LPGA rookie to win on tour this season.

2022 AIG Women's British Open

Ashleigh Buhai poses with the AIG Women’s Open trophy after winning at Muirfield on Aug. 7, 2022 in Gullane, Scotland. (Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai won in her 221st start on the LPGA and it proved well worth the wait. Buhai became the first female professional to win at historic Muirfield at the AIG Women’s British Open.

After a late triple-bogey on Sunday threatened to end her chances, the 33-year-old pulled off a spectacular up-and-down for par from a daunting bunker on the fourth playoff hole to ultimately defeat three-time major winner In Gee Chun as the skies darkened in Scotland.

2022 ISPS Handa World Invitational

Maja Stark on the 13th hole during he final round of the 2022 ISPS Handa World Invitational at Galgorm Castle and Massereene Golf Clubs in Northern Ireland. (Photo: Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

Maja Stark put together a supreme Sunday performance that resulted in her first LPGA title and seventh worldwide since she turned professional last August. The former Oklahoma State standout closed with a course-record 63 at the ISPS Handa World Invitational to win by five and earn LPGA membership. The 22-year-old Swede carded 10 birdies in the final round.

2022 CP Women's Open

Paula Reto holds the trophy after winning the 2022 CP Women’s Open. (Photo: Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)

Paula Reto is one of three first-time winners in their 30s this season. The 32-year-old South African won for the first time in her 157th start last August at the CP Women’s Open. The Purdue grad also contended at the Mediheal until two late bogeys dropped her into a share of third.

Reto said she overwhelmed herself in those early years on tour, trying to do too much at once. If she could go back, she’d tell herself to focus on the small things and get those right.

2022 AmazingCre Portland Classic

Andrea Lee poses with the trophy after winning the 2022 AmazingCre Portland Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Andrea Lee lost her card last year and started this season on the Epson Tour. She won on the developmental circuit and then parlayed a sponsor exemption close to home into a share of fifth that helped reshape her season.

Lee, a former top-ranked amateur who won nine times at Stanford, then clinched her first LPGA title at the AmazingCre Portland Classic. She went on to finish runner-up at the BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea.


2022 LPGA Mediheal Championship

Jodi Ewart Shadoff poses with the trophy on the 18th green after winning the 2022 LPGA Mediheal Championship at The Saticoy Club in Somis, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Jodi Ewart Shadoff thought about quitting the game after another back injury left her sidelined at the start of 2021. But she pushed through and, with the help of a new coach in Grant Waite, won in her 246th start on the LPGA.

The 34-year-old went wire-to-tire at the LPGA Mediheal Championship.

Her next goal: win a major.


OTSU, JAPAN – NOVEMBER 06: Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland poses with the trophy after winning the tournament following the final round of the TOTO Japan Classic at Seta Golf Course North Course on November 6, 2022 in Otsu, Shiga, Japan. (Photo by Yoshimasa Nakano/Getty Images)

Back-to-back 65s vaulted Gemma Dryburgh to a four-stroke victory in her Toto Japan Classic debut. Dryburgh became the fourth Scot to win on the LPGA and the first since Catriona Matthew at the 2011 Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

A former Tulane standout, Dryburgh had only one top-10 finish in 2022 coming into this event. She won the 2017 Oatlands Ladies Pro Am on the ALPG and three events on the Rose Ladies Series that Justin and Kate Rose founded during the COVID-19 pandemic


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