According to the Associated Press, golf legend Kathy Whitworth, who accumulated a record 88 LPGA Tour victories over the course of her career, passed away on Saturday at the age of 83.
Whitworth has 88 professional golf victories, six more than Sam Snead and Tiger Woods, who are tied for second.
Kathy Whitworth Cause of Death
She joined the Women’s Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, the World Golf Hall of Fame, and the LPGA Hall of Fame after becoming the first female golfer to win $1 million in her career on the LPGA in 1981.
Bettye Odle, Whitworth’s partner, released a statement saying that Whitworth “passed abruptly” on Christmas Eve surrounded by loved ones; the statement did not specify the cause of death. Moreover, no evidence of a history of chronic disease or illness has been found.
Odle says that Kathy “leaves this world the way she lived it—loving, laughing, and making memories.”
Who Was Kathy Whitworth?
It was in 1958 that Kathy Whitworth first joined the fledgling Ladies Professional Golf Association tour. She went on to win 88 tournaments throughout the course of her career, making her one of the most successful players in women’s and men’s golf history.
Combined with Wimbledon winner Billie Jean King, her exceptional talent earned her two Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year awards in 1965 and 1967. For all of her efforts in the sport, she was recognized by being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.
In her professional career, Whitworth won or placed second in 144 tournaments. During the years 1966–1968, she won an unprecedented 23 events in a row, a feat never accomplished by any other player before or since. To put this in context, golfing great Jack Nicklaus only won 18 events in the same time frame.
For Whitworth, giving back to the community was also a top priority. Almost the course of her professional golfing career, she raised over $3 million for various charitable causes. She has set up scholarship grants for budding female golfers without the financial means to follow their passion.
How Rich Is Kathy Whitworth?
When American professional golfer Kathy Whitworth went away, she reportedly left behind a fortune of $200,000. She became the first woman to earn $1 million on the LPGA Tour, where she competed, and accumulated this astounding number during her career.
What’s more impressive is that Whitworth did not receive any help along the way from any significant corporate sponsorships or endorsements, but rather built his fortune solely on his own merits through a steady stream of excellent work. Her professional accomplishments demonstrate that hard work and perseverance can lead to rewarding results for anyone, regardless of gender.
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Kathy Whitworth Obituary
For golf fans, Kathy Whitworth will always be considered one of the all-time greats, regardless of gender. She broke barriers for women everywhere by achieving the unprecedented feat of winning more than 60 tournaments and eight major championships in the sport of golf. Kathy’s tireless play, combined with her passion and charisma, won her fans all over the sporting world.
Kathy wasn’t simply a brilliant golfer; she was also the “First Lady” of women’s golf and a tireless activist for women’s rights, actively involved in a wide range of organizations to assist advance their missions. Kathy is responsible for the success of several female athletes who, as Kathy did in 1964, have gone on to set new standards in their respective fields.
Kathy Whitworth will be remembered as a selfless leader who set an example with how she navigated a male-dominated field with a unique blend of poise, confidence, and modesty. We owe Kathy our eternal gratitude and affection, and her legacy will live on via those who carry on her incredible work. Never forgotten, Kathy Whitworth.
When Did Kathy Whitworth Tie The Knot?
No. According to her Wikipedia biography, she allegedly told Sports Illustrated’s Barry McDermott that she had given up marriage and motherhood in order to pursue a career in professional golf.
She eventually revealed her true calling: a golfer. I gave it everything I had, but a happy marriage and a successful golf career just didn’t go together.
However, it wasn’t a sacrifice on her part. Later, in an interview with Golf For Women, also cited by Encyclopedia, she elaborated on this issue, saying, “I didn’t give up a family, I decided I didn’t want one.”
“I voluntarily decided to pursue a career in professional golf. My time on the practice tee was voluntary; no one forced me to put in those hours.
Bettye Odle was her longstanding companion, but the two were never married. In memoriam of her late spouse, Odle said:
With heavy hearts, we must inform you of the demise of the most decorated golf pro in history, Kathy Whitworth. On Christmas Eve, Kathy unexpectedly went away while surrounded by loved ones.