5. Nancy Lopez
Lopez won 48 times, the most of her era. She also had the biggest individual seasons of her era. And her era was a fantastic one. These factors should put her in the running for No. 1. But they don't, for one simple reason: Lopez won only three majors. That's just not enough for someone to be considered the best ever. But she was clearly No. 1 among all her great contemporaries.
4. Babe Didrikson Zaharias
You can, however, construct an argument that Zaharias is the greatest of all-time. It goes like this: The Babe's accomplishments (41 recognized Tour wins, many more amateur wins, 10 majors), unlike those of her contemporaries (Berg, Suggs, et.al.), don't deserve the previously mentioned historical discount (see Suggs at No. 10) because Babe proved the absolute value of those accomplishments in other venues. Specifically, against the men: In 1945, Zaharias played four PGA Tour events, and made the 36-hole cut in three of them. No other woman - to date - can claim such success. Plus, there's what others said about her; Patty Berg said finishing second to Babe was like winning. So she's in the mix, but in the final evaluation three others come out ahead.
3. Kathy Whitworth
Whitworth won 88 LPGA Tour events, more than any other woman, and more than any man has won on any tour. 'Nuff said.
2. Mickey Wright
Wright won 82 times, with 13 majors, and once posted double-digit wins in four straight years. And she did it despite giving up the full-time touring life by age 34. She was almost always considered the best-ever until you-know-who came along ...
1. Annika Sorenstam
Her numbers are as big as those of Berg and Suggs, Wright and Whitworth, yet Sorenstam has posted those numbers against, by far, the deepest, most competitive fields in the history of women's golf. And that's why she's the greatest female golfer of all-time.