Dame Laura Jane Davies, DBE (born 5 October 1963) is an English female professional golfer who has achieved the status of her nation's most accomplished female golfer of modern times, being the first non-American to finish at the top of the LPGA money list as well as winning the Ladies European Tour (LET) Order of Merit a record seven times: in 1985, 1986, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2006.
As of 2016, Davies has 84 professional wins worldwide, with 20 on the LPGA Tour, including four majors. From 1985 to 2010, she won at least one individual title somewhere in the world every season, except for 2005 and was the first golfer, male or female, to win tournaments on five continents in one year. She is a member of U.S.-based LPGA Tour and a life member of the Ladies European Tour. She was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2014 and was inducted in July 2015.
A native of Coventry, Davies began as an amateur international player for Great Britain, compiling a notable record. She was the 1983 English Intermediate Champion, the 1984 Welsh Open Stroke Play Champion and the South Eastern Champion in both 1983 and 1984. She was also a member of the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup Team in 1984. She turned professional in 1985.
Davies started her professional career on the WPGET (now Ladies European Tour) in 1985 when she won both Rookie of the Year and Order of Merit titles. She subsequently won the Sports Journalists' Association Peter Wilson Trophy as International Newcomer of the Year 1985. She repeated the Order of Merit win in 1986 having won four titles, one of which was the British Women's Open (prior to it becoming a major).
In 1987 she went to the United States and won the U.S. Women's Open in an 18-hole playoff against Ayako Okamoto and JoAnne Carner. It was a victory that led the LPGA to amend its constitution. Davies was not a member of the LPGA Tour, so the LPGA changed its constitution to grant Davies automatic membership. Since 1988 Laura Davies has played on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tours. In 1988 Davies won twice as a rookie on the LPGA Tour, three times on the Ladies European Tour and once in Japan, becoming the first woman ever to win on all three major Tours in the same year.
In 1990 she was a member of the inaugural European Solheim Cup Team. She returned as part of every European team through 2011, the only player to do so. Davies is the all-time leader in points won in the Solheim Cup, breaking the record of Annika Sörenstam by winning a Saturday fourballs match partnered by Melissa Reid on 24 September 2011. Davies went on the increase her record point total to 25 by halving her singles match with Juli Inkster on 25 September 2011, as the Europeans captured the Solheim Cup for the fourth time.
In 1994 she was the first golfer, male or female, to win on five different golf tours in one calendar year: US, Europe, Asia, Japan and Australia. and became the first European player to be ranked unofficial number one in the world. She was named the Sports Journalists' Association Sportswoman of the Year 1995 and 1996.
Davies is the only player to participate in the first 12 Solheim Cup matches (1990–2011) on either the United States or European side.
Davies was part of the LPGA team at the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge three times between 1994 and 1996.
Her four consecutive victories at the J Golf Phoenix LPGA International between 1994 and 1997 made Davies the first LPGA player to win the same tournament in four consecutive years.
She represented England at the Women's World Cup of Golf in 2005 (with Karen Stupples), 2006 (with Kirsty Taylor) and 2007 (with Trish Johnson). She was a Captain's pick for the International Team at the 2006 Lexus Cup.
In 2004 Davies was the first woman to compete in the men's European Tour, entering the ANZ Championship in Sydney, Australia. She failed to make the cut, finishing second to last. She currently holds the LPGA Tour record for most eagles in a season, scoring 19 during the 2004 season.
She will make history as the first woman to compete in a European Senior Tour event. The four-time major winner will take part in next year's Shipco Masters in Denmark and will play from the same tees as her male opponents, which will include former Masters champion Ian Woosnam.
Other awards and honours
Davies was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1988, Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000, and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours, all for services to golf.
In January 2013, the Golf Writers Association of America announced that Davies would be the year's recipient of the ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award, which recognises a golfer for "cooperation, quotability and accommodation with the media." The other finalists were Luke Donald and Greg Norman. The award will be presented at the annual GWAA dinner at Augusta, Georgia, on 10 April. In February 2015, Davies was announced as one of the first female members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
On 18 April 2016, Davies was appointed the first honorary president of the Parliamentary Golf Group, an all-party organisation of MPs working to improve the state of golf in the United Kingdom. On 12 July 2016, Davies was presented with the "Spirit of Golf" Award from the Golf Foundation in a ceremony at Royal Troon. Davies is the first recipient of the prestigious honour.
Davies published an autobiography in 1996.
Davies enjoys all sports and is an avid football fan and a Liverpool F.C. supporter. She organises the annual football match at the Evian Masters tournament in France and she has in the past been fined by the Ladies European Tour for watching an England versus Spain European Championship football match on a portable television during the final round of the 1996 Evian Masters in France, a tournament she nevertheless won.
She is also the captain of the Rest of the World team in the annual Rest of the World V Australia cricket match held during the ANZ Ladies Masters.
In 2001, Davies joined the BBC Sport commentary team member at The Open Championship. and has regularly appeared in the commentary box for major golfing events on the BBC.
Davies has built a nine-hole golf course (one full size green and greenside bunker plus nine tees) in the garden of her house. In 2004, she hosted a celebrity fourball tournament for the charity Sport Relief.
Davies has always had an interest in gambling, having formerly been a bookmaker's assistant, and this interest led to her becoming a racehorse owner.
In 2006 Davies completed a 56-mile charity walk along the Great Wall of China to raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital. In 2012, she was named by the Golf Club Managers' Association's Golf Club Management magazine as the 32nd most powerful person in British golf due to her ability to inspire girls and women to play the game.
In 1997, 33-year-old Davies signed a four-year contract worth $1 as part of a publicity stunt for newly established American soccer team Myrtle Beach Seadawgs in the USISL D-3 Pro League. She played in one league game for the club, a six-minute cameo in a 4-1 loss against New Jersey Imperials on 18 April 1997. The future United States national soccer team international Tim Howard made his away debut in the game. Howard wrote in his book that the Seadawgs had offered a bonus of $500 to any player who could assist Davies score a goal.
Professional wins (84)
LPGA Tour (20)
|LPGA Tour major championships (4)|
|Other LPGA Tour (16)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of victory||Runner(s)-up|
|1||26 Jul 1987||U.S. Women's Open||−3 (72-70-72-71=285)||Playoff|| JoAnne Carner
|2||20 Mar 1988||Circle K LPGA Tucson Open||−10 (64-74-69-72=278)||1 stroke||Robin Walton|
|3||5 Jun 1988||Jamie Farr Toledo Classic||−11 (69-70-69-69=277)||3 strokes||Nancy Lopez|
|4||18 Jun 1989||Lady Keystone Open||−9 (67-73-67=207)||1 stroke||Pat Bradley|
|5||10 Mar 1991||Inamori Classic||−11 (70-68-72-67=277)||4 strokes|| Lynn Connelly
|6||16 May 1993||McDonald's Championship||−7 (66-69-73-69=277)||1 stroke||Sherri Steinhauer|
|7||20 Mar 1994||Standard Register PING||−15 (69-72-66-70=277)||4 strokes|| Elaine Crosby
|8||8 May 1994||Sara Lee Classic||−13 (65-70-68=203)||1 stroke||Meg Mallon|
|9||15 May 1994||McDonald's LPGA Championship||−5 (70-72-69-68-279)||3 strokes||Alice Ritzman|
|10||19 Mar 1995||Standard Register PING||−12 (69-68-70-73=280)||1 stroke||Beth Daniel|
|11||23 Apr 1995||Chick-fil-A Charity Championship||−15 (67-67-67=201)||4 strokes||Kelly Robbins|
|12||24 Mar 1996||Standard Register PING||−8 (71-73-69-71=284)||1 stroke||Kristal Parker-Manzo|
|13||12 May 1996||McDonald's LPGA Championship||E (72-71-70=213)||1 stroke||Julie Piers|
|14||4 Aug 1996||du Maurier Classic||−11 (71-70-70-66=277)||2 strokes|| Nancy Lopez
|15||25 Aug 1996||Star Bank LPGA Classic||−12 (68-66-70=204)||3 strokes|| Pat Hurst
|16||23 Mar 1997||Standard Register PING||−15 (70-69-70-68=277)||Playoff||Kelly Robbins|
|17||22 Nov 1998||PageNet Tour Championship||−11 (66-67-75-69=277)||4 strokes|| Brandie Burton
|18||13 Feb 2000||Los Angeles Women's Championship||−5 (67-71-73=211)||3 strokes|| Carin Koch
|19||7 May 2000||The Philips Invitational||−5 (68-67-68-72=275)||2 strokes||Dottie Pepper|
|20||10 Jun 2001||Wegmans Rochester International||−9 (68-68-69-74=279)||3 strokes|| Maria Hjorth
LPGA Tour playoff record (2–8)
|1||1987||U.S. Women's Open|| JoAnne Carner
|Won 18-hole playoff (Davies:71, Okamoto:73, Carner:74)|
|2||1992||ShopRite LPGA Classic||Anne Marie Palli||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
|3||1992||Rail Charity Golf Classic||Nancy Lopez||Last to par on first extra hole|
|4||1994||JAL Big Apple Classic||Beth Daniel||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
|5||1995||Samsung World Championship of Women's Golf||Annika Sörenstam||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
|6||1996||State Farm Rail Classic|| Michelle McGann
|McGann won with birdie on third extra hole|
|7||1996||Toray Japan Queens Cup||Mayumi Hirase||Lost to par on third extra hole|
|8||1997||Standard Register PING||Kelly Robbins||Won with par on first extra hole|
|9||1997||Giant Eagle LPGA Classic||Tammie Green||Lost to eagle on fifth extra hole|
|10||1999||PageNet Championship|| Se Ri Pak
|Pak won with birdie on first extra hole|
Ladies European Tour (45)
- 1985 (1) Belgian Ladies' Open
- 1986 (4) McEwans Wirral Classic, Greater Manchester Tournament, Ladies' British Open, La Manga Spanish Open
- 1987 (1) Italian Ladies' Open
- 1988 (3) Ford Ladies' Classic, Italian Ladies' Open, Biarritz Ladies' Open
- 1989 (1) Laing Charity Ladies' Classic
- 1990 (1) AGF Biarritz Ladies' Open
- 1991 (1) Valextra Classic
- 1992 (3) The European Ladies' Open, The Ladies' English Open, BMW Italian Ladies' Open
- 1993 (1) Waterford Dairies Ladies' English Open
- 1994 (2) Holiday Ireland Women's Open, The New Skoda Women's Scottish Open
- 1995 (4) Evian Masters, Guardian Irish Holidays Open, Woodpecker Women's Welsh Open, Wilkinson Sword Ladies' English Open
- 1996 (3) Evian Masters, Wilkinson Sword Ladies' English Open, Italian Ladies' Open di Sicilia
- 1997 (2) Ford-Stimorol Danish Open, Hennessy Cup
- 1998 (1) Chrysler Open
- 1999 (3) Chrysler Open, McDonald's WPGA Championship, Compaq Open
- 2000 (1) TSN Ladies World Cup Golf (individual event)
- 2001 (1) WPGA International Matchplay
- 2002 (1) P4 Norwegian Masters
- 2003 (1) ANZ Ladies Masters (co-sanctioned by ALPG Tour)
- 2004 (1) AAMI Women's Australian Open (co-sanctioned by ALPG Tour)
- 2006 (1) SAS Masters
- 2007 (1) UNIQA Ladies Golf Open
- 2008 (1) UNIQA Ladies Golf Open
- 2009 (1) Women's Australian Open (co-sanctioned by ALPG Tour)
- 2010 (5) Pegasus New Zealand Women's Open (co-sanctioned by ALPG Tour), UniCredit Ladies German Open, UNIQA Ladies Golf Open, Open De España Femenino, Hero Honda Women's Indian Open
- Note: Davies won the Women's British Open before it became a major championship on the LPGA Tour.
LPGA of Japan Tour (7)
- 1988 (1) Itoki Classic
- 1994 (1) Itoen Ladies Open
- 1995 (1) Itoen Ladies Open
- 1996 (2) Satake Japan Classic, Itoen Ladies Open
- 1999 (1) Takara World Invitational
- 2001 (1) Itoen Ladies Open
ALPG Tour (8)
- 1993 (1) Australian Ladies Masters
- 1994 (1) Australian Ladies Masters
- 2003 (1) ANZ Ladies Masters (co-sanctioned by Ladies European Tour)
- 2004 (1) AAMI Women's Australian Open (co-sanctioned by Ladies European Tour)
- 2008 (1) LG Bing Lee Women's NSW Open
- 2009 (1) Women's Australian Open (co-sanctioned by Ladies European Tour)
- 2010 (2) Pegasus New Zealand Women's Open (co-sanctioned by Ladies European Tour), Kangaroo Valley Resort Classic
Ladies Asian Golf Tour (2)
- 1993 (1) Thailand Ladies Open
- 1994 (1) Thailand Ladies Open
- 1996 (1) JCPenney/LPGA Skins Game
- 1998 (1) JCPenney/LPGA Skins Game
- 1999 (2) Praia d'El Rey European Cup (Ladies European Tour team event), JCPenney Classic (with John Daly)
- 2008 (1) Lalla Meryem Cup
Legends Tour (1)
- 2012 (1) ISPS Handa Legends Tour Open Championship
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner(s)-up|
|1987||U.S. Women's Open||1 shot deficit||−3 (72-70-72-71=285)||Playoff 1||JoAnne Carner, Ayako Okamoto|
|1994||McDonald's LPGA Championship||1 shot lead||−5 (70-72-69-68=279)||3 strokes||Alice Ritzman|
|1996||McDonald's LPGA Championship||2 shot deficit||E (72-71-70=213)||1 stroke||Julie Piers|
|1996||du Maurier Classic||5 shot deficit||−11 (71-70-70-66=277)||2 strokes||Nancy Lopez|
1 In an 18-hole playoff: Davies 71, Okamoto 73, Carner 74.
Results not in chronological order before 2015.
|Women's PGA Championship||DNP||DNP||CUT||T65||CUT||T51|
|U.S. Women's Open||T11||1||T50||T7||T26||T44|
|du Maurier Classic||DNP||DNP||2||T17||CUT||T3|
|Women's PGA Championship||T52||T45||1||2||1||T4||T44||T7||T6|
|U.S. Women's Open||CUT||T11||T12||T24||6||CUT||T11||CUT||T9|
|du Maurier Classic||T20||DNP||T38||CUT||1||T16||T22||2||73|
|Women's PGA Championship||T6||CUT||CUT||T42||T3||T65||T30||CUT||WD|
|U.S. Women's Open||CUT||T32||CUT||CUT||CUT||CUT||T32||CUT||T17|
|Women's British Open ^||T25||CUT||T19||T8||T29||T16||CUT||77||T46|
|Women's PGA Championship||T47||T57||CUT||T64||T25||T53||CUT||CUT|
|U.S. Women's Open||DNP||CUT||DNP||DNP||CUT||T47||DNP||DNP|
|Women's British Open ^||T69||CUT||WD||CUT||T9||CUT||CUT||T59|
|The Evian Championship ^^||CUT||T41||T55||CUT||CUT|
^ The Women's British Open replaced the du Maurier Classic as an LPGA major in 2001.
^^ The Evian Championship was added as a major in 2013.
DNP = did not play.
CUT = missed the half-way cut.
WD = withdrew
"T" = tied
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10
|Women's PGA Championship||2||1||1||5||8||9||30||21|
|U.S. Women's Open||1||0||0||1||4||10||27||16|
|Women's British Open||0||0||0||0||2||5||17||10|
|The Evian Championship||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||2|
|du Maurier Classic||1||2||1||4||4||8||12||10|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 11 (1992 du Maurier – 1994 U.S. Open)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (1996 PGA – 1996 du Maurier)
LPGA Tour career summary
- official as of 2016 season
*Includes match play and other events without a cut.
1 Davies's earnings of $37,549 at the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand were considered unofficial under LPGA rules and are not included in this total.
- Curtis Cup (representing Great Britain & Ireland): 1984
- Solheim Cup (representing Europe): 1990, 1992 (winners), 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 (winners), 2002, 2003 (winners), 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 (winners)
- World Cup (representing England): 2005, 2006, 2007
- Lexus Cup (representing International team): 2006
- Handa Cup (representing World team): 2013 (winners), 2014, 2015
- The Queens (representing Europe): 2015 (playing captain)
Solheim Cup record
|1990||3||2-1-0||1-0-0 def. R. Jones 3&2||1-0-0 won w/ A. Nicholas 2&1||0-1-0 lost w/ A. Nicholas 4&3||2||66.7%|
|1992||3||3-0-0||1-0-0 def. B. Burton 4&2||1-0-0 won w/ A. Nicholas 1 up||1-0-0 won w/ A. Nicholas 1 up||3||100%|
|1994||3||1-2-0||0-1-0 lost to B. Burton 1 dn||1-0-0 won w/ A. Nicholas 2&1||0-1-0 lost w/ A. Nicholas 2&1||1||33.3%|
|1996||5||3-2-0||0-1-0 lost to M. McGann 3&2||1-1-0 lost w/ A. Nicholas 1 dn,
won w/ T. Johnson 4&3
|2-0-0 won w/ T. Johnson 6&5,
won w/ L. Hackney 6&5
|1998||5||3-1-1||1-0-0 def. P. Hurst 1 up||1-1-0 lost w/ T. Johnson 3&1,
won w/ C. Sörenstam, 3&2
|1-0-1 halved w/ C. Sörenstam,
won w/ L. Hackney 2up
|2000||4||1-2-1||0-1-0 lost to K. Robbins 3&2||1-1-0 won w/ A. Nicholas 4&3,
lost w/ A. Nicholas 6&5
|0-0-1 halved w/ R. Carriedo||1.5||37.5%|
|2002||5||2-3-0||0-1-0 lost to M. Mallon 3&2||1-1-0 won w/ P. Martí 2 up,
lost w/ P. Martí 2&1
|1-1-0 lost w/ P. Martí 1 dn,
won w/ S. Gustafson 1up
|2003||4||1-2-1||1-0-0 def. M. Mallon,
conceded on 15
|0-0-1 halved w/ C. Koch||0-2-0 lost w/ C. Matthew 2&1,
lost w/ S.Gustafson 2&1
|2005||5||3-2-0||0-1-0 lost to P. Creamer 7&5||1-1-0 won w/ M. Hjorth 2&1,
lost w/ M. Hjorth 3&2
|2-0-0 won w/ S. Pettersen 4&3,
won w/ A. Sörenstam 4&2
|2007||4||2-1-1||1-0-0 def B. Lincicome 4&3||0-1-0 lost w/ B. Brewerton 2&1||1-0-1 halved w/ T. Johnson,
won w/ B. Brewerton 2 up
|2009||2||0-1-1||0-0-1 halved with B. Lang||0-1-0 lost w/ B. Brewerton 5&4||0.5||25%|
|2011||3||1-1-1||0-0-1 halved with J. Inkster||1-1-0 lost w/ M. Reid 1 dn,
won w/ M. Reid 4&3