Youngest Winners of the U.S. Women's Open

The U.S. Women's Open is the biggest tournament in women's professional golf, and in its history two golfers younger than 20 have won it. Amazingly, those two golfers were the exact same age at the times of their respective wins. In this article, we'll take a look at who those record-holders are, plus run down the list of other youngest winners of this major championship.

The Record-Holders: Inbee Park and Yuka Saso

Inbee Park and Yuka Saso are the only golfers (so far) younger than 20 to win the U.S. Women's Open. Remarkably, each was 19 years, 11 months and 17 days old at the time of her victory.

Park was that age when when she won the 2008 U.S. Women's Open. She broke the record previously held by her South Korean compatriot Se Ri Pak. A second-round 69 moved Park into a tie for second place. She slipped back to third place following the third round, trailing leader Stacy Lewis by two going into Round 4. But in very tough, final-round scoring conditions, Park's closing 71 was enough to produce a four-stroke victory over runner-up Helen Alfredsson.

It wasn't just the first major championship victory for Park, but also her first career win on the LPGA Tour. She went on a to a Hall-of-Fame career.

Thirteen years later, another golfer 19 years, 11 months and 17 days old won the 2021 U.S. Women's Open. Saso became the first golfer from the Philippines to win a major championship, men's or women's. She did it after facing Nasa Hataoka in a playoff. The two tied after 72 holes at 280 and headed to a two-hole, aggregate-score playoff. But they tied over those two holes, too, at 8 apiece. So they continued into sudden death, and Saso won with a birdie on the first sudden-death hole.

And again just like Park, it was Saso's first-ever LPGA Tour victory.

The List: Youngest U.S. Women's Open Winners

  • Inbee Park, 2008: Park was 19 years, 11 months, 17 days on the day of her victory.
  • Yuka Saso, 2021: Saso was also 19 years, 11 months, 17 days on the day of her victory.
  • Se Ri Pak, 1998: Pak was 20 years, 9 months, 8 days old when she won in 1998, a victory that inspired the Korean influx onto the LPGA. She was the youngest winner at that point, breaking a record that had stood since 1967.
  • In Gee Chun, 2015: Chun was 20 years, 11 months old. With a final score of 272, Chun tied the U.S. Women's Open scoring record.
  • So Yeon Ryu, 2012: Ryu was 21 years, 12 days old
  • Catherine Lacoste, 1967: Lacoste was 22 years, 5 days old. At the time, that made her the record-holder. She remains the only golfer to win the USWO playing as an amateur.
  • Liselotte Neumann, 1988: Neumann was 22 years, 2 months, 4 days old

Related article: Oldest winners of the U.S. Women's Open

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