Golfers Who Lost the Most Playoffs on the LPGA Tour

One of the greatest players in golf history also holds the LPGA Tour record for most times losing in playoffs. And the other golfers on the list of most LPGA playoff losses also happen to be greats.

Moral of the story: Being a great player usually gets you into a lot of playoffs, because you are in contention more often than lesser golfers. But it doesn't guarantee you'll actually be good at winning those playoffs. So let's take a look at the LPGA golfers with the most playoff losses.

The Record-Holder: Kathy Whitworth, 20 Losses

Yes, that's right, one of the greatest golfers of all-time holds the LPGA Tour record for most losses in playoffs. Kathy Whitworth, who holds the LPGA record of 88 victories (which is also more than anyone on the PGA Tour has won), lost another 20 times in playoffs.

In fact, Whitworth had a terrible record in playoffs: She played 28 of them, won eight, lost 20. What can explain that? Some bad luck surely was involved a few times. But in order to get into 28 playoffs to start with, one has to be around the lead late in tournaments a lot. And Whitworth certainly was. Whitworth was the LPGA's leading money winner eight times, its scoring leader seven times, and its Player of the Year seven times.

Her biggest playoff nemesis was Sandra Haynie, against whom Whitworth went 0-3 in playoffs. Haynie beat Whitworth in playoffs at the 1966 Pensacola Ladies Invitational, 1967 Mickey Wright Invitational and 1969 St. Louis Women’s Invitational. Despite her overall poor playoff record, Whitworth did go a perfect 3-0 in playoffs against the great Mickey Wright, one of only a handful of LPGA golfers who are considered as great as Whitworth herself was.

Two of Whitworth's losses were in majors. She lost 18-hole playoffs for the Women's PGA Championship (then called the LPGA Championship) twice, to Sandra Post in 1968 and to Shirley Englehorn in 1970.

The List: Most Playoff Losses on LPGA Tour

  • 20 losses — Kathy Whitworth, overall record of 8 wins, 20 losses in LPGA Tour playoffs
  • 12 losses — Judy Rankin, overall record of 4 wins, 12 losses
  • 10 losses — JoAnne Carner, overall record of 10 wins, 10 losses
  • 8 losses — Laura Davies, overall record of 2 wins, 8 losses
Notice something about this list? All four of the golfers on it are all-time greats on the LPGA Tour. All four of the golfers on it are members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Of the four, only one, Carner, doesn't have a losing record in playoffs, and she is only at .500.

As we said above about Whitworth, getting onto this list (even though it's not a record you want to be in contention for) first requires that you get into a lot of playoffs. And these LPGA greats were around the top of the leaderboard so often that they got into a lot of playoffs.

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