Legendary LPGA golfer Kathy Whitworth ‘died suddenly’ at 83, family say
Kathy Whitworth, a legendary golfer who won an LPGA Tour record 88 times, has died, the organization and her partner announced Sunday. She was 83 years old.
Longtime Whitworth partner Bettye Odle and LPGA Tour Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan made the announcement in statements released through the LPGA. Odle said Whitworth « passed away suddenly » while celebrating on Christmas Eve.
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« It is with a heart full of love that we inform everyone of the passing of the most successful golf professional of all time, Kathy Whitworth. Kathy passed away suddenly on Saturday evening celebrating Christmas Eve with her family. and his friends, » Odle said in a statement. « Kathy left this world as she lived her life, loving, laughing and making memories. »
Marcoux Samaan added: “The world of golf and the world at large has lost one of its most incredible women with the passing of Kathy Whitworth. Kathy was a true champion, both on and off the golf course. my time with Kathy, I was truly blown away by her and her approach to acting and life. Her strength, insight and drive were evident from the minute you met her! She inspired me as a young girl and now as a curator and I know she has done the same for so many others. We all grieve with Bettye, her family and everyone in golf.
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Whitworth is considered one of the greatest female golfers of all time. His 88 LPGA Tour wins included six major LPGA championships. She has won the PGA Women’s Championship three times, the titleholders championship twice and the Western Open once.
She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1975 after being the LPGA Tour’s Player of the Year seven times and the LPGA Vare Trophy – which recognizes the highest scoring average by an LPGA player. – seven times.
Whitworth’s greatness was underscored by a notion of engaging in what you love to do and « learning from your mistakes », according to the LPGA’s obituary for the golfer.
« I was really lucky to know what I wanted to do, » Whitworth previously said. « Golf took me by the throat. I can’t tell you how much I loved it. Before, I thought everyone knew what they wanted to do when they were 15. »
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Whitworth retired from competitive golf in 2005. Her last tournament was the BJ’s Charity Classic on the Women’s Senior Golf Tour.