All-Time Best LPGA Golfers Who Never Won a Major

Ai Miyazato is one of the best LPGA players who never won a major

Almost all of the greats in LPGA Tour history, and very many of the "very good," as well, won a major championship during the course of their careers. But not all of them! The list of the greatest LPGA players without a major even includes a couple Hall-of-Famers.

(Related: 11 best golfers who never won a men's major)

These are the seven best players in LPGA history who never won a major:

1. Judy Rankin

Rankin is the greatest in golf history — male or female — without a major championship victory. She won 26 LPGA titles despite dealing with serious back issues that eventually forced her off the tour. Rankin was LPGA Player of the Year in 1976 and 1977, won three Vare Trophy awards and led the money list twice.

Rankin's $150,000 in earnings in 1976 was the first time any LPGA player finished with more than $100,000 on the money list and was nearly double the tour's previous single-season earnings record.

She finished second in majors four times. And she won two tournaments that later became majors, including one that still is: the Colgate Dinah Shore Winner's Circle (now called the ANA Inspiration) and the Peter Jackson Classic (later called the du Maurier Classic). Alas, neither was a major at the time of Rankin's win.

2. Ayako Okamoto

Ayako Okamoto is one of the best golfers in LPGA of Japan history and won five JLPGA majors. But after moving to the LPGA Tour and becoming the first Asian star in LPGA history, Okamoto wasn't able to win any of the LPGA majors. She otherwise had an outstanding record in majors in the 1980s and early 1990s: Okamoto was runner-up in six majors, including two playoff losses. She finished third four other times, had 12 Top 5 finishes and 21 Top 10 finishes.

Okamoto won 17 LPGA Tour events and was the leading money winner and Player of the Year in 1987. And she did win the Women's British Open, but in 1984, long before it had been elevated to major championship status.

Okamoto and Judy Rankin are both members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

3. Jane Blalock

From the late 1960s (she was LPGA Rookie of the Year in 1969) through the mid-1980s, Blalock won 27 times on the LPGA Tour. From her rookie year through 1980, Blalock didn't miss a cut — a streak of 289 tournaments. She twice finished second in the Women's PGA Championship, and she won the Colgate Dinah Shore (today's ANA Inspiration) in 1972, before it was elevated to major status.

4. Ai Miyazato

Miyazato won nine LPGA Tour tournaments (and 15 on the JLPGA) before leg issues drew her into early retirement. And she won the Evian Championship twice, but both times (2009, 2011) before that tournament had been given major championship status. Miyazato finished as high as third on the LPGA money list, and in 2010 she reached No. 1 in the world rankings. But third place was her best showing in a major.

5. Rosie Jones

Jones played on the LPGA Tour from 1982 through 2005, winning 13 career titles. Three of those came in 1988, when she had her highest money list finish of third. Jones had runner-up finishes at four different majors, was third a total of four times, and posted 28 career Top 10 finishes in majors ... but never won one.

6. Ruth Jessen

Ruth Jessen played into the mid-1980s, but her 11 LPGA wins happened in the years from 1959 to 1971. In some ways, it's surprising she reached that total: Jessen's career was plagued by injuries, illnesses and surgeries. Eleven wins is nothing to sneeze at, but had she been healthy Jessen likely would have earned many more. Among the things that interrupted her career was uterine cancer when she was just 32.

Jessen twice made it into 18-hole playoffs at majors, at the 1962 Titleholders and 1964 U.S. Women's Open, both times falling to Mickey Wright. She had two other runner-up finishes in majors. In 1964, when she was healthy the full year, Jessen won five times and finished second on the money list.

7. Clifford Ann Creed

Clifford Ann Creed was an LPGA heavy hitter for four years, 1964-67: Although she played into the 1980s, she earned all 11 of her victories in that span. She was Rookie of the Year in 1963 and finished in the Top 10 on the money list six times. Creed was runner-up at the 1965 LPGA Championship, but no better than fourth in any other major.

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Photo credit: Ai Miyazato by Wojciech Migda (wmigda) / CC BY-SA

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