The LPGA Tour hasn’t always had the same lineup of major championships. Dating back to its founding in 1950, the LPGA has adopted a number of different tournaments as their major championships.
As of 2013, the LPGA Tour recognizes five major championships: the ANA Inspiration, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the US Women’s Open, the Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship.
The five current LPGA major championships
- The Evian Championship was added in 2013 as part of a deal to keep the France event on the LPGA schedule as part of a bridge to the season with Europe and with the Women’s British Open. It’s played on the same course, the Evian Resort Golf Course, each year. Since becoming a major in 2013, it has been played in September, with some unfortunate weather leading to controversy, including multiple 54-hole finishes. However, in 2019, The Evian Championship is moving to July for better weather and course conditions.
- The ANA Inspiration is traditionally the first major championship in golf each year, played a week or two before the Masters. The tournament, which was first recognized as a major in 1983, has been known by several names over the years, including the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle, the Nabisco Dinah Shore and the Kraft Nabisco Championship. The tournament’s name has been the ANA Inspiration since 2015, named after the Japanese airline ANA, All Nippon Airways. Until The Evian became a major in 2013, this was the only LPGA major to be played at the same course every year.
- The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is a new name for a long-running tournament formerly known as the LPGA Championship. The LPGA Championship dates back to 1955, but the tournament name was changed in 2014 when the LPGA and PGA of America came to an agreement to collaborate on the championship, elevating its stature, television coverage, venues and purse. This came after Wegman’s walked away as title sponsor of the LPGA Championship in 2014. The Women’s PGA Championship is the only major requiring a player to be a professional to enter.
- The Women’s British Open began in 1976, but it wasn’t recognized by the LPGA as a major championship (replacing the du Maurier Classic, now the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open) until 2001. The event was a co-sanctioned LPGA tournament but not a major from 1994-2000. With Ricoh’s involvement, which ended in 2018, the tournament has increased in stature, going to several British Open Championship venues previously unvisited.
- The US Women’s Open is the longest-running LPGA-recognized major championship, pre-dating the LPGA Tour’s 1950 founding with its first playing in 1946. The USGA-run tournament has long been considered the biggest championship in women’s golf, in part because of how long its been contested and, in large part, because the tournament has consistently had the highest purse of the year on the LPGA Tour.
Former LPGA major championships
Several tournaments were once considered LPGA majors at one time or another, but for various reasons, fell out of favor and were removed from the major championship group.
- The Titleholders Championship was a tournament which ran from 1937-1966, and it was recognized as a major by the LPGA. It was played at Augusta Country Club in Augusta, Ga., next to Augusta National Country Club. The event featured winners of various prestigious tournaments, with a field of mostly amateur golfers since women’s pro golf was in it nascence. A purse was introduced in 1948.
- The Women’s Western Open was recognized as an LPGA major from 1930-1967, with the tournament going defunct in 1968. It was run by the Women’s Western Golf Association, and it was a match-play championship until 1954, when it became a 72-hole stroke-play event. Patty Berg won the tournament a record seven times.
- The du Maurier Classic was considered the LPGA’s fourth major from 1979-2000. Named for the Canadian cigarette maker, the tournament was played throughout Canada and is now known today as the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. It was replaced as a major in 2001 by the Women’s British Open. The CP Women’s Open remains a key tournament on the LPGA schedule.
Since the LPGA was founded in 1950, each season has had at least two recognized major winners, with the LPGA Championship and US Women’s Open being the only majors from 1968-1971 and 1973-1978.