Kathy Whitworth (1939 - )
Born Texas, USA, Whitworth is one of the greatest lady golfers holding the record for the most career victories.
Whitworth took up golf when she was 15 under the tutelage of the great Harvey Penwick. Her amateur career peaked a few years later when she won the New Mexico State Amateur in 1957 and again in 1958. Convinced that her game had finally matured, she turned professional in 1959.
However, she found tough competition in Mickey Wright and others and it would take her four years to win her first tournament. She won the Kelly Girl Open in 1962 and immediately her career went into over-drive. She would eventually win 88 tournaments, an unbeaten record by any lady or gentleman golfer. Although she could only manage second in the US Women's Open (1971), she did win 3 US LPGA titles.
From 1965, she topped the money list 8 times and went on to become the first lady professional to win over US1$m in career prize money. Among her countless awards and honours is 7 times Player of the Year. Testament to her consistency and domination are her 7 awards of the Vare Trophy. Her last victory was in 1985 whereupon she subsequently retired.
Individual success was matched by team success when she captained winning US team in the inaugural Solheim cup in 1990. Since then she has played on the Seniors Tour and has won the Sprint Senior Challenge.
Whitworth is indeed a great champion. Her achievements are unparalleled and set the standard by which all lady professionals are judged. Her place in golf history is assured.