10 female golfers to watch out for in 2020!
Updated: Jan 11
At the beginning of every year we select 10 female golfers who we think will go on to achieve great things in the year ahead and in the future. Below we have selected our 10 for this year, players from all across the globe and all at different stages of their golfing career.
1. Atthaya Thitikul (Thailand)
World Ranking: Number 1 amateur in the world.
If rumors are to be believed Atthaya may be turning pro this year. This will surely be one of the most exciting announcements in women's golf. The 16 year old world number 1 amateur has already won a number of professional events, including winning the Thailand Championship on the LET twice, last year and as a 14 year old in 2017.
She finished 8th on the LPGA in 2018 in Singapore and last year won the World Junior Championships and finished 29th at the British Open. We could write a whole page on her success so far but this could be the year where she really takes her game to the next level. The difficulty being she cant play on the LPGA yet, the LET maybe a good learning curve but the growing strength of the KLPGA and JLPGA may entice her there as well. I am excited to see what happens.
2. Patty Tavatanakit (Thailand)
World Ranking: 152nd
Patty was on our list of 10 to watch in 2018 and now returns in 2020 as one to watch after a great 2019. Tavatanakit, was Rookie of the Year and finished No. 2 on the 2019 Symetra Tour money list. In 11 starts she won 3 times and had 5 top 10 finishes to earn her LPGA card for 2020.
Last year she played 2 majors the ANA Inspiration and the US Open finishing 26th and 34th respectively, she also finished 15th at the Thornberry Creek Classic on the LPGA to give us a taste of what to expect this year.
3. Esther Henseleit (Germany)
World Ranking: 132nd
Esther won the final event of the LET season in Kenya to giver her the maiden victory she was so close to all year. The win also clinched the LET Order of Merit and the Rookie of the year award. Not a bad year! It got better, she earned her 2020 LPGA tour card at Q school!
On the LET she had the 1 win and 10 top 10s in her 19 starts including 4 runners up spots! No one was due a win more than her. Esther also qualified for the US Open where she finished 30th, proving that she can mix it with the best players in the world.
4. Nelly Korda (USA)
World Ranking: 3rd
You just voted Nelly your golfer of the year on our website and it's easy to see why. She finished 5th on the Race to the Globe with 2 wins and 12 top 10s from her 20 starts. She won the Women's Australian Open at the beginning of the year before winning the Taiwan Swinging Skirts at the end of the year.
Away from the LPGA she won on the LET in France and finished runner up at the Hanwha Classic on the KLPGA. She also was the leading player for Team USA at the Solheim Cup.
Nelly, can continue to improve and looks set to be one of the players to catch on the LPGA next year.
5. Hinako Shibuno (Japan)
World Ranking: 12th
Hinako won the hearts of the golfing world when she won the British Open at Woburn with her infectious smile and her birdie bonanza on the back 9. This was her first year on the Japan LPGA and the British Open was her first time playing golf outside of Japan.
The win for me was my moment of 2019. However, she was not a one hit wonder as back on the JLPGA she won 4 times with 9 top 10s as well to clinch the Order of Merit. Hinako, has turned down her invitation to play the LPGA this year but she will challenge for the Japan LPGA again and it will be interesting to see how she goes in the major championships as well as a few one off LPGA events.
6. Jennifer Kupcho (USA)
World Ranking: 51st
Kupcho turned pro midway through 2019. She was the number 1 ranked amateur in the world and had just won the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship. Trailing by 2 heading into the final 9 holes she eagled the famous par 5 13th and played the last 6 holes in -5!
She finished T-62 at the U.S. Women’s Open, her first event as a pro, and missed a couple of cuts after. It was at her sixth start, the Marathon Classic,where she showed what she is capable of finishing T-5. Two events later, she put on her best performance finishing T-2 at the Evian Championship.
From her 19 tournaments she had 3 top 10s finishing 47th on the CME Race to the Globe. Expect bigger things this year.
7. Hye Jin Choi (South Korea)
World Ranking: 27th
Choi had a stella amateur career, including finishing runner up at the US Open. She eventually tuned pro age 17. Since then she has won the KLPGA Order of Merit for the last 2 years.
Last year she claimed 5 wins from her 27 starts on the KLPGA and also had 10 top 10s including some in LPGA events.
I feel like this year we will see her compete at the top in some of the majors due to her maturing as a golfer over the past few seasons as well as challenging for her 3rd straight Order of Merit on the KLPGA.
8. A Yean Cho (South Korea)
World Ranking: 36th
The new name to watch out for coming out of Korea in 2020 is A Yean Cho. The 19 year old turned pro at the beginning of 2019 and just won the rookie of the year award on the KLPGA and finished 6th on the Order of Merit.
She picked up 2 wins this year on tour, winning in only her 2nd event as a pro. She also had 11 top 10 finishes (46%) . Her iron play is superb and it shows with her GIR stats of 77% for 2019. She also finished 5th at the LOTTE Championship and 28th at the BMW Championship both on the LPGA, and also 49th at the Evian Championship.
Cho should challenge for the Order of Merit on the KLPGA and hopefully we will see her battling it out in some of the majors.
9. Olivia Cowan (Germany)
World Ranking: 163rd
Olivia, has really developed into one of the best golfers on the LET over the past 2 years. She deserved her maiden victory this year as she came so close on a number of occasions. However, I am sure it will come this year.
For the past two years she has finished 7th on the Order of Merit. Last year she had 8 top 10 finishes (4 of those in her last 5 starts) including a runners up spot at the Dubai Moonlight Classic. She also had a strong finish at the British Open ending up 29th. Olivia played in the Handa Vic Open on the LPGA at the beginning of the season finishing 11th.
Unfortunately she just missed out on Q School for the LPGA in 2020 but she is a player who could easily make the move to the LPGA in a few years. Olivia could win the LET this year.
10. Kajal Mystry (South Africa)
World Ranking: 1188th (only played in 1 points event)
Kajal will be playing most of her golf on the US College circuit this year, so if you follow that keep an eye out for her.
Last year playing on the Pro Sunshine Ladies Tour in South Africa she played in 7 events and had 5 top 10s. One of these top 10's she lost in a playoff. She went on to end the year fourth on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit. It was a remarkable achievement for an 18-year-old amateur playing against hardened professionals from across the globe
The talented teen then went on to win the South African Stroke Play and Match Play Championship. She is at the University of Arkansas and will be one to keep an eye on over the coming years.