While most golf fans tend to think of the PGA Tour as the “men’s tour,” there’s nothing in the PGA Tour’s bylaws which prevent a woman from competing. It has been rare in the nearly 90-year history of what’s recognized nowadays as the PGA Tour, but five women have competed in official PGA Tour events.
Babe Zaharias competed in seven PGA Tour events, making the 36-hole cut in two events in 1945, the Phoenix Open and Tucson Open. She played three rounds in the Los Angeles Open that year, played for war bonds. However, back in those days, that event had a 54-hole cut to determine who got to compete on Sunday. Zaharias missed the 54-hole cut in Los Angeles that year, but she did finish out in Phoenix and Tucson, ending up 33rd and 42nd in consecutive weeks that January.
The other four women to compete in a combined 11 PGA Tour events did not make the cut.
Shirley Spork played in the 1952 Northern California-Reno Open, finishing 105th after playing all four rounds in the no-cut event.
Annika Sorenstam played in the 2002 PGA Tour event at Colonial on a sponsor invitation, and she missed the cut after shooting 71-74 in the first two rounds at Colonial Country Club.
Suzy Whaley missed the cut at the 2003 Greater Hartford Open (now Travelers Championship), though she qualified by winning the 2002 Connecticut PGA Section Championship from a forward set of tees for female competitors.
Michelle Wie is the woman to play in the most PGA Tour events, competing eight times, including four starts in the Sony Open in Hawaii. All of her starts came on a sponsor exemption from 2004-2008, and she missed the cut each time.
Women to compete on PGA Tour
Babe Didrikson Zaharias
- 1935 Cascades Open (Sept. 19-21): 86-88—174–MC
- 1937 Chicago Open (July 23-25): 86–WD
- 1938 Los Angeles Open (Jan. 7-10): 81-84—165–MC
- 1945 Los Angeles Open (Jan. 5-8): 76-81-79—236–MC; qualified with 76-76—152
- 1945 Phoenix Open (Jan. 11-14): 77-72-75-80—304 (33rd)
- 1945 Tucson Open (Jan. 18-21): 307 total (42nd); qualified with 74-81—155
- 1946 Los Angeles Open (Jan. 3-6): 81-81—162 (WD)
- 1952 Northern California-Reno Open (Oct. 9-12): 77-80-77-80—314 (105th)
- 2003 Bank of America Colonial (May 22-25): 71-74—145–MC
- 2003 Greater Hartford Open (July 24-27): 75-78—153–MC
- 2004 Sony Open in Hawaii (Jan. 15-18): 72-68—140–MC
- 2005 Sony Open in Hawaii (Jan. 13-16): 75-74—149–MC
- 2005 John Deere Classic (July 7-10): 70-71—141–MC
- 2006 Sony Open in Hawaii (Jan. 12-15): 79-68—147–MC
- 2006 John Deere Classic (July 13-16): 77–WD
- 2006 84 LUMBER Classic (Sept. 14-17): 77-81—158–MC
- 2007 Sony Open In Hawaii (Jan. 11-14): 78-76—154–MC
- 2008 Legends Reno-Tahoe Open (July 31-Aug. 3): 73-80—153–MC