More than two dozen players will join the LPGA’s ranks in 2023, only adding to the depth of competition amongst the best female golfers in the world. In 2022, 26 different players, including 11 first timers, lifted a trophy on tour. While there will be several new faces to keep an eye on in the season ahead, there are some well-known players who could also enjoy a breakout season in the new year. Here are five players to watch on the LPGA Tour in 2023.
Although Linn Grant was a rookie on the LPGA Tour in 2022, she made more headlines on the Ladies European Tour, as she was limited from competing in the U.S. due to her COVID vaccination status. In 2023, Grant will have full status on the LPGA after finishing 52nd in the Race to the CME Globe point standings. The Swede enjoyed a standout season on the LET in 2022, where she most notably became the first female winner on the DP World Tour during the Scandinavian Mixed, a joint-sanctioned event with the LET. Grant won four times on the LET and topped the season-long Race to Costa Del Sol. The world beater was a thrill to follow in 2022 and will be an equally thrilling addition to the LPGA in 2023.
Already a seasoned veteran on the LPGA Tour, look for Nelly Korda to make an impact in 2023. Last season didn’t deliver on the promise it could have after the top-ranked American was sidelined for months due to a blood clot in her arm. To her credit, Korda seemingly picked up where she left off in 2021. She was back in the winner’s circle within two months of her return to competition with a victory on the LET and added a second worldwide win in November at the Pelican Women’s Championship. Just as Korda was finding her footing, she ran out of events as the season came to a close. Expect Korda to build on the solid form she showed at the season’s end when the tour returns to action in the new year.
One of eight players to earn her LPGA Tour card with a top 10 finish on the Epson Tour’s money list in 2022, Lucy Li will be a rookie to watch next season. Li has long been known as the young girl who was decked out in red, white and blue and eating an ice cream cone during her press conference at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, but now she’s becoming known for much more. Li, who won twice on the Epson Tour last season, earned her card long before the end of the season. She proved herself to be a legitimate contender among the world’s best when she took the 54-hole lead at the LPGA Tour’s Greater Toledo LPGA Classic.
After a stint on the Epson Tour and two years as a member of the LPGA Tour, Leona Maguire earned her breakthrough win at the LPGA Drive On Championship in February 2022. After nabbing her maiden win, the Irishwoman had a low-key spring, failing to crack the top 20 again until June. Maguire closed out the latter part of the season with seven top 10s, including two runner-up finishes. One of those came at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, where she closed with a final round of 63. Expect Maguire, who holds the record for the most weeks ranked as the top amateur in the world (135), to soon be breaking records in the professional ranks, too.
Alexa Pano finished No. 13 on the Epson Tour money list to narrowly miss her LPGA Tour card by $2,417, and she was forced to go through the LPGA Q-Series in order to try and qualify. Pano survived the eight-round endurance test to become a rookie on the LPGA in 2023. While Pano may be new to the tour, the 18-year-old is quite familiar to those who have followed the junior ranks. She has been a fixture in the annual Drive, Chip and Putt competition at Augusta National Golf Club, and she made headlines when she captured the AJGA’s Rolex Girls Junior Championship, which was featured in the popular Netflix documentary The Short Game