Tuesday, March 2

Did You Know Laura Davies Has 73 Wins?

I HAD NO IDEA. By closing with a 69 to win the New Zealand Open on Sunday, 46-year-old English golfer Laura Davies collected her 73rd worldwide title. Wow. Where have I been? I’m guessing trophy room rather than trophy case.

I knew Davies was one of the top women golfers for a lengthy stretch in the 1980s and 1990s, but she has never stopped winning golf tournaments since she got her first victory at the 1985 Belgian Ladies’ Open. In her quarter century as a professional, the long-hitting Davies has played all over the world. Here’s how her wins break down:

LPGA Tour: 20
Ladies European Tour: 39
LPGA of Japan Tour: 6
Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour: 6
Ladies Asian Golf Tour: 2

To my surprise, 15 of Davies’ 73 wins have been in the 2000s. Four wins are majors. She may not be the dominant player she once was—especially on the LPGA Tour—but she just keeps winning. Davies has also won the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit seven times, a record. I’d say it’s a Hall of Fame career.

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: dnkbdotcom/Flickr)


Unknown said...

Being the devious person I am, I checked Wiki and a few places before I wrote this. And I had no idea, either.

Wiki writes, "Because she has 72 career titles, she will be put in the LPGA Hall of Fame", but I don't see that anywhere on the LPGA site. According to the LPGA HoF formula, with 20 tour wins @1 point and 4 majors @ 2 points, she has 28 points and 27 is the number. I'm confused because she is old enough and not on their list. Other current players are.

Any thoughts, Neil?

bkuehn1952 said...

I believe Ms. Davies is not an automatic entrant to the LPGA Hall of Fame because the LPGA does not count the 1987 US Open as an "official" win. She was not a member of the LPGA when she won. Seems rather nit-picky to this commenter.

Unknown said...


That's too kind calling them, "rather nit-picky"...

I saw that asterisk, but thought it was for reference only. How can they not count it as a major?

The Armchair Golfer said...

Vince, I too was on Wiki trying to discern her HOF standing. I didn't get as far as you did with the point-gathering analysis, so I don't have an answer to your question.

bkuenn1952, good point about Davies' status.

I say we just all agree she's HOF material, regardless of what the LPGA says.

Mike said...

As best I can understand from what I've heard, the LPGA considers Laura as being 2 points short of the admission requirement. They do have an option to vote her in at some later date under a different category, if I heard correctly.

Still, I think it's a crock. If you're an LPGA member as well as a member on another tour like the LET, I think there should be some kind of "point credit" for the foreign wins. After all, they give points for POY, money titles, etc. I really prefer the LPGA's point system to the PGA's vote system, since it's totally on merit, but an LPGA member like Laura with as many wins as she has should be in the HoF. If Laura had only played the LPGA, she probably would have had the points with no problem.

MÃ¥rten said...

The fact that she doesn't use a tee for her driver, but merely knocks up a bit of turf to place her ball on, should be enough to grant her HOF status...

courtgolf said...

add me to the list - I knew she had wins all over the world, but not a number that high. she was a hall of famer in my book without knowing this number. Looks like icing on the cake to me.

courtgolf said...

IS there an "LPGA Hall of Fame" ? I know they have their own criteria for HoF status - but don't they go into the World Golf Hall of Fame with the rest of the that hall's occupants ?

Mike said...

Court, according to Wikipedia's entry on the World Golf Hall of Fame:
LPGA Tour golfers are eligible through a point system. Since 1999, LPGA members automatically qualify for World Golf Hall of Fame membership when they meet these three criteria:

1. Must be/have been an "active" LPGA Tour member for 10 years.
2. Must have won/been awarded at least one of the following - an LPGA major championship, the Vare Trophy or Player of the Year honors; and
3. Must have accumulated a total of 27 points, which are awarded as follows - one point for each LPGA official tournament win, two points for each LPGA major tournament win and one point for each Vare Trophy or Rolex Player of the Year honor earned.

Before 1999, players had to win 30 tournaments, including two majors; 35 tournaments with one major; or 40 tournaments in all to automatically qualify. At one time, players had to win two different majors to qualify with 30 wins, but this was changed earlier in the 1990s.
So the LPGS HoF is part of the WGHoF now, but it wasn't originally.

Vince, by my figures, Laura has 4 Majors (8 pts), 16 other LPGA wins (16 pts), and 1 POY award (1 pt), for a total of 25 points, or 2 short. Majors don't count twice; that's what confused you.

Also, Wikipedia misquoted their facts; the reference they cited doesn't say that Laura will be inducted because she had 72 wins; in fact, it's an old GolfWorld article talking about how she only needs 2 points. (Wiki does get sloppy like that sometimes.) But I suspect she may get in on the International Ballot, even if she can't earn her way in any other way. Those qualifications, according to the WGHoF Wiki (I think these are correct):
* Minimum of 40 years old
* Cumulative 50 points earned as follows:

+ 6 points – Major victories
+ 4 points – Other LPGA Tour win, Women's British Open win prior to 2001
+ 2 points – LPGA of Japan Tour win, Ladies European Tour win
+ 1 point – Other national championship win, Solheim Cup participation

Election requirements: same as PGA Tour ballot.
With 39 LET and 6 LPGA-Japan victories, and 11 Solheim Cup appearances, plus 7 other worldwide wins, I would think she makes 50 points pretty easily. If I calculated correctly, just her LPGA, LET, LPGA-Japan, and Solheim Cup points would total 189!

Does that make sense of the whole mess?

courtgolf said...

The points system wasn't an unknown - in fact, I like the women's system better than the men's system...which still depends on personal opinions of voters.

The LPGA players in the World HoF was what I thought - no separate building for the LPGA HoF.