Recent Amateur Winners on Professional Golf Tours

The Last Amateur Winners on the PGA Tour, European Tour and LPGA Tour

Phil Mickelson during the 1991 NCAA Championship
Phil Mickelson in 1991, the year he became the most-recent amateur winner on the PGA Tour. David Madison/Getty Images

Amateur winners are very rare on the world's major professional golf tours, but there are a few who stand out in recent golf history. Read on to see who were the last amateurs to win on the PGA, European and LPGA tours.

Most Recent Amateur Winner on PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson, 1991 Northern Telecom Open

Mickelson was on the Arizona State University golf team in 1991, and at the Northern Telecom Open, he beat runner-up Tom Purtzer by one stroke. He turned pro in 1992, and Mickelson's first victory as a member of the tour was the 1993 Buick Invitational of California.

What about the amateur winners before Mickelson? There was one amateur winner in the 1980s, but none in the 1970s or 1960s. If we list the three next-most-recent prior to Mickelson on the PGA Tour, we're all the way back to the 1950s:

Littler is like Mickelson will soon be, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, and a major championship winner. Sanders won 20 PGA Tour events and may someday make the Hall of Fame. Verplank didn't come close to the careers of Littler, Sanders, and Mickelson, but he was a solid player for many years, won multiple times and made multiple Ryder Cup teams.

In short, winning as an amateur on the PGA Tour is a rarity in modern times, but also a (seemingly) sure sign that the golfer has a very good career ahead of him.

Most Recent Amateur Winner on the European Tour

Shane Lowry, 2009 Irish Open

Lowry was the third golfer in European Tour history to win as an amateur -- but the second of 2009. The only other amateur wins on the Euro Tour are:

  • Danny Lee, 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic
  • Pablo Martin, 2007 Estoril Portuguese Open

Most Recent Amateur Winner on LPGA Tour

Lydia Ko, 2013 Canadian Women's Open

Ko won twice as an amateur, and the same tournament: Her previous win while still an amateur was at the 2012 Canadian Women's Open.

In addition to Ko, four other golfers in all of LPGA Tour history have won official tournaments as amateurs:

  • JoAnne Carner, 1969 Burdine's Invitational
  • Catherine Lacoste, 1967 U.S. Women's Open
  • Pat O'Sullivan, 1951 Titleholders Championship
  • Polly Riley, 1950 Tampa Open

Lacoste's win in the U.S. Women's Open was her only LPGA victory (she retired from competitive golf without ever joining the LPGA Tour). And Riley's win in 1950 was in the very first tournament ever played on the LPGA Tour.

Amateur Stacy Lewis won the 2007 LPGA NW Arkansas Championship, but the tournament was shortened to 18 holes by rain and dangerous course conditions and so is not counted as an official LPGA Tour victory.