Born:April 2, 1951 in Akitsu, Hiroshima, Japan.
Total professional wins (62), including LPGA of Japan Tour (44), LPGA Tour (17) and Ladies European Tour (2).
Okamoto, together with fellow World Golf Hall of Famer "Chako" Higuchi, dominated Japanese women's golf in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. In addition to her "superstar" status in Japan, she also enjoyed considerable success on the LPGA Tour with 17 wins, but no majors amongst them. Okamoto won the Women's British Open in 1984, before it was recognised as a major championship.
Played as the McDonald's Championship. Second-placed Pat Bradley (USA), Brandie Burton (USA) and Deb Richard (USA) finished 3 shots behind Okamoto (Jpn), who recorded the last of her 17 LPGA Tour victories in this 54-hole rain-shortened event. [DuPont CC, Wilmington, Delaware].
Played as the Lufthansa Ladies German Open (Aug 9-12). Okamoto (Jpn) beat Laurette Maritz (RSA) and Cindy Rarick (USA) in a playoff. [GC Wörthsee, nr Munich, Germany].
Played as the Sara Lee Classic. Second-placed Betsy King (USA), JoAnne Carner (USA), Dawn Coe (Can), Pat Bradley (USA) and Colleen Walker (USA) finished 1 shot behind Okamoto (Jpn). [General's Retreat course, Hermitage GC, Old Hickory, Nashville, TN].
Played as the LPGA Corning Classic. Second-placed Beth Daniel (USA) finished 6 shots behind Okamoto (Jpn), who recorded her 15th LPGA Tour win. [Corning CC, Corning, nr Elmira, New York].
Played as the Orient Leasing Hawaiian Ladies Open. Second-placed Deb Richard (USA) and JoAnne Carner (USA) finished 1 shot behind Okamoto (Jpn). [Fazio course, Turtle Bay Resort, Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii].
Played as the Greater Washington Open. Second-placed Beth Daniel (USA) and Connie Chillemi (USA) finished 1 shot behind Okamoto (Jpn). [Bethesda CC, Bethesda, Maryland].
Played as the San Diego Inamori Golf Classic. Second-placed Colleen Walker (USA) finished 1 shot behind defending champion Okamoto (Jpn). [StoneRidge CC, Poway, nr San Diego, CA].
Okamoto (Jpn) won the LPGA Tour Player of the Year Award, based on a points system for top 10 finishes and performance in Majors.
Played as the Kyocera Inamori Golf Classic. Second-placed Betsy King (USA) finished 1 shot behind Okamoto (Jpn). [StoneRidge CC, Poway, nr San Diego, CA].
Played as the Lady Keystone Open. Second-placed Laurie Rinker (USA) finished 1 shot behind Okamoto (Jpn). [West course, Hershey CC, Hershey, PA].
Played as the Nestle World Championship. Second-placed Betsy King (USA) finished in second place behind Okamoto (Jpn). [PineIsle Resort, Lake Lanier, Georgia; now called Legacy Course on Lake Lanier].
Okamoto (Jpn) won the LPGA Tour 1987 Money List, with earnings of $466,034 on the Tour. Betsy King (USA) was second with $460,385; Jane Geddes (USA) was third with $396,818.
Played as the Chrysler-Plymouth Classic. Second-placed Jane Geddes (USA) and Colleen Walker (USA) finished 2 shots behind Okamoto (Jpn). [Navesink CC, Middletown, New Jersey].
Played as the Nichirei Ladies Cup (Oct 31-Nov 2; individual low score prize within the US-Japan team match). Sandra Palmer (USA) and Juli Inkster (USA) finished in second place behind Okamoto (Jpn). [Tsukuba CC, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan].
Played as the Elizabeth Arden Classic. Second-placed Muffin Spencer-Devlin (USA) finished 1 shot behind Okamoto (Jpn). [Soffer course, Turberry Isle Resort, Aventura, FL; at the time called the South course].
Played as the Cellular One-Ping LPGA Golf Championship (Sept 5-7). Second-placed Colleen Walker (USA) and defending champion Nancy Lopez (USA) finished 6 shots behind Ayako Okamoto (Jpn). [Columbia Edgewater CC, Portland, Oregon].
Played as the Hitachi British Women's Open (Oct 3-6; a GB&I WPGA/LPGA Trs event). Second-placed Betsy King (USA) and Dale Reid (Scot) finished 11 shots behind Okamoto (Jpn). [Duke's course, Woburn GC, nr Milton Keynes, Bucks].
Played as the J&B Scotch Pro-Am. Second-placed Donna White (USA) finished 5 shots behind Okamoto (Jpn). [Wynn Las Vegas, Nevada; at the time known as Desert Inn CC. Earlier rounds also at Las Vegas CC].
Played as the Mayflower Classic. Second-placed Judy Clark (USA; Judy Dickinson from late-1985) and Donna White (USA) finished 2 shots behind Okamoto (Jpn). [CC of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana].
Played as the Rochester International. Okamoto (Jpn) beat Kathy Whitworth (USA) and Donna White (USA) with a birdie at the third playoff hole. [Locust Hill CC, Pittsford, Rochester, NY].
Played as the Arizona Copper Classic. First-time LPGA Tour winner Okamoto (Jpn) beat Sally Little (RSA/USA) with a birdie at the second playoff hole. [North course, Randolph GC, Tucson, AZ].
European Tour: 2021 marks the 50th and last season of the world renowned European Tour, launched in April 1972 at the Spanish Open. From 2022 the Tour will be sponsored by Dubai-based global supply chain and ports operator DP World, and will be known as the DP World Tour.
South African Open: December 2021 events in South Africa have again been impacted by the Covid pandemic. The South African Open (Dec 2-5) will no longer be played as a DP World Tour event, and the Alfred Dunhill Championship (Dec 9-12) has been cancelled.
Bernhard Langer: at age 64, Langer collected a record sixth Charles Schwab Cup, the only player to have won the season-long points chase more than twice. He also topped the PGA Tour Champions money-list for the 11th time out of a possible 13 since 2008.
Carlota Ciganda: the five-time Solheim Cup star was delighted to record a fourth Ladies European Tour win in her home national championship, the Ladies Spanish Open.
Lee Elder: Trailblazer, Ryder Cup player, four-time PGA Tour winner and eight-time Senior PGA Tour winner, Lee Elder died on November 28, aged 87. In 1975 he became the first African American golfer to play in the Masters tournament, and in so doing provided one of the pivotal moments in the history of professional golf.
Golf World Top 100: Best Golf Courses in Europe. From France to Spain to the Netherlands and Norway, the Golf World Top 100 panel reveals the places you have to play (published 20 October 2021).
New 27-hole golf complex to be built in southern Belgium
A new golf complex in southern Belgium, close to the border with Luxembourg, will start construction in June 2021.
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