Aug 8, 2022 - Sports

Women's golf has gone global

Illustration of the earth as a golf ball, resting on a tee
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai beat In Gee Chun in a playoff on Sunday to win the Women's Open at Muirfield, her first major title.

Why it matters: Buhai is the first South African to win the Women's Open since 1979 and her victory continues a trend in women's golf: winners from all over the world.

State of play: For the second straight year — and for the fourth time in the past seven seasons — the five LPGA majors were won by players from five different countries.

2022 winners:

  • Chevron Championship: Jennifer Kupcho (USA)
  • U.S. Women's Open: Minjee Lee (Australia)
  • Women's PGA Championship: Chun (South Korea)
  • Evian Championship: Brooke Henderson (Canada)
  • Women's Open: Buhai (South Africa)

The big picture: Women's golf was long dominated by Americans, who won 181 of the 203 majors last century (89%) and represent 10 of the 13 players with at least six major titles.

  • But it's a different story this century, where they haven't even won the most. That'd be South Korea, with 33 titles to America's 21.
  • The top 25 players in the current world rankings by country: South Korea (seven), U.S. (five), Japan (four), Australia (two), Thailand (two), New Zealand, Canada, France, Ireland, Sweden.
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