Lexi Thompson hits her tee shot on the 18th hole

Top-earning women golfers of all time

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July 22, 2022
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Top-earning women golfers of all time

In 1950, the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour started with just 14 tournaments and $50,000 in prize money. Since then, the tour has grown to 34 events and a total purse prize of $90 million in 2022, up from $67 million in 2019. Although that's a good amount of money, it still pales in comparison to what male professional golfers make—the total amount of prize money on the PGA Tour this season sits at $427 million.

The LPGA tournament schedule is built around five major tournaments: Spring's Chevron Championship; June's U.S. Women's Open and KPMG Women's PGA Championship; July's Amundi Evian Championship; and the AIG Women's Open in August. In 2022, the five majors will award a combined purse of $37.3 million.

For an exceptional player, the LPGA Tour can provide a lucrative career. Stacker ranked the top 25 earning golfers of all time on the LPGA Tour based on the tour's official career money list. Total earnings and events played are current as of July 6, 2022.

In total, 290 golfers have earned more than $1 million on the LPGA tour. The total amount of prize money earned throughout the history of the LPGA exceeds $1.3 billion. Roughly a quarter of that $1.3 billion has been won by the 25 golfers on this list.

Catriona Matthew celebrates her team winning the Solheim Cup
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#25. Catriona Matthew

- Career earnings: $9,732,920
- Total events: 564
- Rookie year: 1995
- Country: Scotland

Scotland's most successful female golfer, Catriona Matthew has won four LPGA tour events, including one major, the 2009 RICOH Women's British Open. She's a nine-time member of the European Solheim Cup team and captained it in 2019 and 2021. In 2020 she was awarded an Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the sport.

In-Kyung Kim of Korea poses with a trophy
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#24. In Kyung Kim

- Career earnings: $9,863,911
- Total events: 286
- Rookie year: 2007
- Country: South Korea

In Kyung Kim was poised to win her first LPGA Major tournament in 2012, but she missed a 14-inch putt at the ANA Inspiration Major, which cost her the victory. Five years later, she won the British Open. Kim is also an ambassador for the Special Olympics.

Jin Young Ko of South Korea plays her shot on the second tee
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#23. Jin Young Ko

- Career earnings: $10,185,256
- Total events: 90
- Rookie year: 2018
- Country: South Korea

When Jin Young Ko won Rookie of the Year in 2018, it was a sign of great things to come. The only player in the top 100 all-time earners to have played in fewer than 100 events, she was named the LPGA Official Money Title winner in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand poses with a trophy
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#22. Ariya Jutanugarn

- Career earnings: $10,343,149
- Total events: 213
- Rookie year: 2015
- Country: Thailand

At just 26 years old, Ariya Jutanugam has recorded 74 career top 10 finishes, including 12 wins. She had a banner year in 2018, winning the U.S. Women's Open, Kingsmill Championship, and the Aberdeen Standard. She also was the first player to take home all five of the LPGA's year-end awards: Player of the Year, Vare Trophy, Money Title, Race to the CME Globe, and the ANNIKA Award.

Amy Yang of South Korea plays her second shot
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#21. Amy Yang

- Career earnings: $10,515,477
- Total events: 303
- Rookie year: 2008
- Country: South Korea

Amy Yang took up golf at age 10, and showed enough promise that when she was 15, her family chose to move to Australia to help her golf game. That move has paid off handsomely, as she quickly made her mark in the sport, by being the youngest winner ever on the Ladies European tour. On the LPGA tour, she's racked up four victories and 80 career top 10 finishes.

Yani Tseng of Taiwan plays a tee shot on the 2nd hole
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#20. Yani Tseng

- Career earnings: $10,551,388
- Total events: 276
- Rookie year: 2008
- Country: Taiwan

Yani Tseng made a big splash during her first year on the LPGA tour, not only winning 2008's Rookie of the Year award by 267 points, but also earning over $1 million that season. In 2010 she won the tour's Player of the Year award at age 21, the first player from Taiwan and second youngest of all time to do so. She passed $8 million in earnings faster than any other player in LPGA history, and even though she took the 2020 season off, she's still ranked in the top 20 in career earnings.

Na Yeon Choi of South Korea hits her tee shot
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#19. Na Yeon Choi

- Career earnings: $10,977,145
- Total events: 297
- Rookie year: 2008
- Country: South Korea

Na Yeon Choi cemented her spot on the all-time earners list due in part to a four year span between 2010 and 2014 when she won five events, came in second 12 times, and took third seven times. Then she hit a slump, and with it a back injury in 2015 that affected her ability to drive the ball. Choi eventually took 11 months off the tour, which allowed her to make a recovery.

Anna Nordqvist poses with a trophy
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#18. Anna Nordqvist

- Career earnings: $11,461,265
- Total events: 303
- Rookie year: 2009
- Country: Sweden

Anna Nordqvist is three-quarters of the way to winning a Career Grand Slam, or winning four different LPGA major championships throughout her career. Nordqvist's three majors wins have each come in a different decade, a first for a non-American player.

 Sei Young Kim of Korea hits her tee shot
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#17. Sei Young Kim

- Career earnings: $11,572,180
- Total events: 172
- Rookie year: 2015
- Country: South Korea

After turning pro at age 17, Sei Young Kim spent five years on the LPGA of Korea tour. Since joining the LPGA ranks in 2015, she's racked up four multi-win seasons. Kim also holds a third-degree black belt in taekwondo.

Minjee Lee of Australia plays her tee shot
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#16. Minjee Lee

- Career earnings: $11,776,158
- Total events: 187
- Rookie year: 2015
- Country: Australia

By winning the 2022 U.S. Women's Open, Minjee Lee went home with a $1.8 million paycheck, the biggest payday for winning a tournament in LPGA history. It was her second major victory in two years, giving her eight total victories on the LPGA tour.

So Yeon Ryu of South Korea poses with a trophy
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#15. So Yeon Ryu

- Career earnings: $11,916,126
- Total events: 227
- Rookie year: 2012
- Country: South Korea

So Yeon Ryu, who has six LPGA tour wins and two major victories under her belt, is also known for her generosity. Just before the pandemic broke out in 2020, she donated her winnings from two tournaments in Australia to wildfire relief. She waited out the pandemic in South Korea and won the 2020 Korean Women's Open Championship, opting to donate her $206,000 in earnings to COVID-19 related charities.

Shanshan Feng of China plays her third shot
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#14. Shanshan Feng

- Career earnings: $11,981,365
- Total events: 260
- Rookie year: 2008
- Country: China

China's highest-earning female golfer, Shanshan Feng has 10 victories and 93 top 10 finishes in her 14-year LPGA career—and that's with taking 2020 off due to the pandemic. When golf returned to the Olympics in 2016 after a 112-year hiatus, Feng took the bronze medal. She also competed at the pandemic-delayed Olympics in Tokyo, placing eighth.

Angela Stanford hits off the second tee
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#13. Angela Stanford

- Career earnings: $12,101,441
- Total events: 502
- Rookie year: 2001
- Country: USA

Although the American golfer had a number of victories under her belt, Angela Stanford didn't win her first major tournament until 2018, when she won the Evian Championship by one stroke. Another golfer known for giving back to the community, Stanford created her namesake foundation in 2009 to award scholarships to students whose families have been affected by cancer. Her own mother died of cancer in early 2022.

 Paula Creamer poses with a trophy
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#12. Paula Creamer

- Career earnings: $12,134,840
- Total events: 339
- Rookie year: 2005
- Country: USA

Paula Creamer started the first decade of her pro golf career with a bang, earning 10 LPGA tour victories between the 2005 and 2014 seasons. Creamer won her only major, the U.S. Open, less than four months after having thumb surgery. In 2017 she ended her season early to have surgery to repair an inflamed tendon on her wrist. Creamer announced she was pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl in January 2022.

Se-Ri Pak of South Korea reacts after a putt
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#11. Se Ri Pak

- Career earnings: $12,583,713
- Total events: 365
- Rookie year: 1998
- Country: South Korea

When Se Ri Pak won the U.S. Women's Open in 1998, it inspired a generation of South Korean girls to take up the sport. This epic win over amateur Jenny Chuasiriporn came after a 20-hole playoff and gave Pak her second major victory of the year—her rookie year. In 2007 Pak was inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame, the youngest player and first South Korean chosen for this honor.

Lexi Thompson celebrates on the 18th green after winning the LPGA CME Group Tour Championship
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#10. Lexi Thompson

- Career earnings: $13,326,872
- Total events: 231
- Rookie year: 2012
- Country: USA

Lexi Thompson comes from a golfing family—her two older brothers are also pro golfers and have been known to caddy for her. Thompson made history in 2007, when she became the youngest woman to play in the U.S. Women's Open at age 12. From 2013 to 2019, Thompson won an event each season, which at the time was the longest active winning streak on the tour.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand reacts after a putt
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#9. Lydia Ko

- Career earnings: $13,554,224
- Total events: 211
- Rookie year: 2014
- Country: New Zealand

Lydia Ko minted her status during her 2014 rookie year, winning three tour victories en route to becoming the LPGA's youngest-ever Rookie of the Year. The following year, she won five events (including one major) and became the youngest-ever Player of the Year, as well as the tour Money Winner for 2015. Ko is the only golfer on this list to have medaled at two Olympics—she won silver at Rio 2016 and bronze at Tokyo 2020.

Juli Inkster poses with a trophy
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#8. Juli Inkster

- Career earnings: $14,038,081
- Total events: 716
- Rookie year: 1983
- Country: USA

Juli Inkster is the only player in the top 25 all-time earners to have started her professional career before 1990, and she still occasionally plays on the tour at age 62. During her rookie year, Inkster won two majors, which led to her earning the Rookie of the Year Award, and she has gone on to rack up 31 total wins throughout her career. A member of both the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame, Inkster was awarded the 2022 Bob Jones Award, the United States Golf Association's highest honor.

Stacy Lewis of the USA hits her tee shot on the third hole
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#7. Stacy Lewis

- Career earnings: $14,075,270
- Total events: 320
- Rookie year: 2009
- Country: USA

Diagnosed with scoliosis at age 11, Stacy Lewis wore a back brace all throughout her teenage years, only removing it to practice golf. Once she stopped growing, she needed a risky surgery to correct her spine and hopefully play golf again. Lewis persevered through surgery and rehab, becoming one of the game's great players with 13 LPGA tour wins and 2 majors under her belt. The LPGA also selected her to captain Team USA for the triennial Solheim Cup in 2023.

Suzann Pettersen of Norway hits an approach shot
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#6. Suzann Pettersen

- Career earnings: $14,837,579
- Total events: 315
- Rookie year: 2003
- Country: Norway

The top Norwegian on this list with 15 LPGA tour victories, Suzann Pettersen ended her pro golf career with a massive putt to win the 2019 Solheim Cup for Europe. She's been selected as Team Europe's captain for the 2023 edition of this transatlantic competition against the U.S. Post-retirement, Pettersen joined GEO Foundation as an ambassador for sustainability within the sport.

Lorena Ochoa of Mexico hits her tee shot
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#5. Lorena Ochoa

- Career earnings: $14,863,331
- Total events: 175
- Rookie year: 2003
- Country: Mexico

Lorena Ochoa was on the LPGA tour for less than eight seasons, but she amassed 27 titles during that time. Ochoa spent 158 weeks ranked at the top player on the Women's World Golf Rankings, longer than any other player in the rankings' 16-year history.

In 2022, the LPGA changed its Hall of Fame eligibility requirements that stipulated players must be on the tour for 10 years. Upon doing so, the organization immediately honored her with induction into this institution.

Inbee Park of South Korea poses with a trophy
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#4. Inbee Park

- Career earnings: $18,197,343
- Total events: 302
- Rookie year: 2007
- Country: South Korea

Inbee Park is known on the tour for her putting abilities, making 49.4% of putts from 10 to 15 feet, compared to the tour average of 29.8%. Just one of seven players to complete a Career Grand Slam, Park just has to win The Evian Championships in order to become the second player ever to win the Super Career Grand Slam.

In 2016, Park added a different piece of hardware to her collection, when she climbed to the top of the Olympic podium, winning the gold medal at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

Cristie Kerr celebrates her 12-stroke victory on the 18th green after winning the LPGA Championship
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#3. Cristie Kerr

- Career earnings: $20,154,962
- Total events: 582
- Rookie year: 1997
- Country: USA

A former World #1, Cristie Kerr has amassed 20 wins and two majors during her career. In 2020, Kerr sustained injuries in a golf cart accident and managed to play through the pain in the U.S. Women's Open one week later. Kerr is an advocate for breast cancer and in 2009 partnered with Jersey City Medical Center to open a women's health facility for imaging services.

Karrie Webb of Australia drives during round two of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open
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#2. Karrie Webb

- Career earnings: $20,276,503
- Total events: 492
- Rookie year: 1996
- Country: Australia

Karrie Webb is the only player on the LPGA tour to have won the Super Career Grand Slam, which she earned in just five years. Her 41 tour wins make her the top active player on the LPGA Career Money List. In 2018 she dropped out of the Evian Championship, in order to receive the title of officer of the Order of Australia.

Annika Sorenstam of Sweden plays a practice round
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#1. Annika Sorenstam

- Career earnings: $22,577,025
- Total events: 305
- Rookie year: 1994
- Country: Sweden

Annika Sorenstam earned her way to the top of this list by amassing 90 tournament wins during her career, including 72 on the LPGA tour. Sorenstam cemented her legendary status in the '90s, when she won 18 LPGA tournaments, more than any other player. In 2001, she shot a 59 at the second round of the Standard Register Ping, which to this day is the best round of golf in an LPGA tournament. The LPGA's annual ANNIKA Award, given to the best overall performer in a year's five major championships, is named after her.

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