LPGA Record for Fewest Putts Over 18 Holes

What is the lowest number of putts a golfer has ever needed to complete an 18-hole round on the LPGA Tour? One golfer in LPGA history played an official tournament round taking one fewer putt than there are holes in a round. The record is 17 putts, and to set that record the golfer who holds it needed a few hole-outs from off the green.

Fewest Putts in One LPGA Round: 17 by Joan Joyce

At the 1982 LPGA Lady Michelob, at the Brookfield West Golf & Country Club in Roswell, Georgia, Joan Joyce played her final round taking only 17 putts.

It wasn't just the fewest putts ever needed during an LPGA round. At the time, Joyce was the first-known golfer on any signficant pro tour to complete a round in fewer than 18 putts. (At least one other golfer, on the Champions Tour, has since accomplished the feat.)

Joyce was a journeyman player on LPGA Tour. Her career on the LPGA followed a legendary softball career and she is a member of that sport's hall of fame.

During her record-setting round at the 1982 Lady Michelob, Joyce, who never won on the LPGA, one-putted 11 greens and 2-putted three greens. The other four greens? She no-putted — Joyce had four hole-outs from off the green.

Joyce finished tied for seventh. And her feat wasn't the only all-time LPGA record set in that very same tournament: The winner was Kathy Whitworth, and it was Whitworth's 83rd career LPGA victory. That broke a tie with Mickey Wright for most career LPGA victories.

Other LPGA Single-Round Putting Milestones

  • First to record 21 putts for a single round on the LPGA Tour: The first-known golfer in LPGA Tour history who played an 18-hole round taking only 21 putts was Judy Kimball during the final round of the 1961 American Women's Open. The tournament took place at Hiawatha Golf Course in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kimball scored 74 in the round en round to her first LPGA victory. It was her rookie year on tour.

  • First to record 20 putts in one round: Judy Kimball, 1963 St. Petersburg Women's Open at Sunset Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Florida. Yep, Kimball again (putting was the strength of her game, as you could probably guess). She set this record in the first round, for which she scored 72. Kimball finished the tournament tied for 19th place.

  • First to record 19 putts in one round: Beverly Klass, 1978 Women's International at Moss Creek Plantation in Hilton Head, South Carolina, during the second round. The first golfer in LPGA history to play 18 holes taking fewer than 20 putts was the golfer who first played in an LPGA tournament at age 9. By 1978, Klass was 21 years old. She one-putted 17 greens en route to a 68.

Nobody had beaten Klass' 19 putts for one round before Joyce had her 17-putts record-setter in 1982. So Joyce was the first LPGA golfer to record 18 or fewer putts in a round.

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