Legendary LPGA Golfer, Kathy Whitworth, Suddenly Passes Away While Celebrating Christmas Eve

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Kathy Whitworth, the winningest LPGA Tour player of all time, has died at the age of 83. The LPGA Tour and her longtime partner, Bettye Odle, announced the news on Sunday.

According to Odle, Whitworth “passed suddenly” while celebrating Christmas Eve with family and friends.

“It is with a heart full of love that we let everyone know of the passing of the winningest Golf Professional ever, Kathy Whitworth. Kathy passed suddenly Saturday night celebrating Christmas Eve with family and friends,” Odle said in a statement. “Kathy left this world the way she lived her life, loving, laughing and creating memories.”

Inbee Park of South Korea and Kathy Whitworth poses with the trophy after Park won the 2015 Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout Presented by JTBC at Las Colinas Country Club on May 3, 2015 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

“The golf world and the world in general lost one of its most incredible women with the passing of Kathy Whitworth,” LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan sad in a statement.

“Kathy was a champion in the truest sense of the word, both on the golf course and off. In the short time I spent with Kathy, I was truly blown away by her and her approach to the game and to life. Her strength, insightfulness and vibrancy were obvious from the minute you met her! She inspired me as a young girl and now as the commissioner and I know she did the same for so many others. We all mourn with Bettye, her family and the entire golf world.”

Whitworth was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1975 and is widely considered to be the greatest female golfer of all time. On top of her record 88 LPGA Tour wins, the Texas native won six LPGA major championships as well including three Women’s PGA Championships.

Whitworth retired from competitive golf in 2005 with the last win of her career coming in May 1985.

Written by Mark Harris

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