Ayako Okamoto

Japan

5'5"

1981

$2,749,507.00

Race to CME Globe

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Rolex Ranking™

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Ayako Okamoto Bio

5’5”...Started playing golf at the age of 22…Received the 1987 Japanese Prime Minister’s Award for her contribution to encouraging and developing sports in Japan...Recognized during the LPGA’s 50th Anniversary in 2000 as one of the LPGA’s top-50 players and teachers...Prior to playing golf, she was an excellent softball pitcher...Qualified for the Tour on her first attempt...Represents Daiwabo, Mizuno and Dunlop…Has her own Web site, www.ayakookamoto.minato.tokyo.jp.

Career

  • In 2005, was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame by the International ballot voting body, which is comprised of writers, historians and golf dignitaries from around the world; was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Nov. 14.
  • Although she never won a major championship, compiled an impressive record in LPGA majors; in 51 major championship starts, recorded 28 top-20 finishes and missed the cut only four times.
  • In 1995, competed in five events; best finish was a tie for 21st at the U.S. Women’s Open.
  • In 1994, best finish was a tie for 19th at the NabiscoDinahShore, one of the LPGA Tour’s four major championships.
  • In 1993, top finish of the season was a tie for seventh at the U.S. Women’s Open.
  • In 1992, earned $229,953 and won her 17th career title at the McDonald’s Championship.
  • In 1991, finished second at both the Centel Classic and the JAL Big Apple Classic; tied for second at the Mazda LPGA Championship.
  • In 1990, became the eighth LPGA Tour player to cross the $2 million mark in career earnings following the Phar-Mor in Youngstown; captured the Sara Lee Classic title for her fifth consecutive season with at least one tournament victory; carded her fifth career hole-in-one at the Nabisco Dinah Shore.
  • In 1989, won the LPGA Corning Classic and finished second to Patty Sheehan at the Rochester International following a sudden-death playoff.
  • In 1988, won three times; totaled 13 top-10 finishes in 20 starts; recorded her career-low score of 63 during the third round of the San Diego Inamori Classic.
  • In 1987, won four tournaments, including the Lady Keystone Open, which made her the Tour’s 15th millionaire; defeated by Laura Davies in an 18-hole playoff at the U.S. Women’s Open; recorded the fourth hole-in-one of her LPGA career at the McDonald’s Championship; became the first international player to win the Rolex Player of the Year award.
  • In 1986, won the Elizabeth Arden Classic and Cellular One-PING Golf Championship; narrowly missed two additional titles, losing to Pat Bradley at the du Maurier Classic and to Patty Sheehan at the Konica San Jose Classic in sudden-death playoffs.
  • In 1985, top finish of the season was second place at the Mazda Classic; recorded her third career hole-in-one at the McDonald’s Championship.
  • In 1984, won three times for the first of four multi-win seasons in her career; recorded her second career hole-in-one during the J&B Scotch Pro-Am.
  • In 1983, defeated Kathy Whitworth and Donna White in a sudden-death playoff at the Rochester International and finished second at the Chevrolet World Championship of Women’s Golf; recorded the first of five career holes-in-one during the Chevrolet World Championship of Women’s Golf.
  • In 1982, captured the first of her 17 career wins at the Arizona Copper Classic after a sudden-death playoff with Sally Little.
  • In 1981, qualified for the Tour by tying for fourth at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in January to earn exempt status; during her rookie season, top finish was fourth place at the Sun City Classic.

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