Kathy Whitworth set a benchmark in golf no one has ever touched, whether it was Sam Snead or Tiger Woods, Mickey Wright or Annika Sorenstam. Her 88 victories are the most by any player on a single professional tour.
Whitworth, whose LPGA Tour victories spanned nearly a quarter-century and who became the first woman to earn $1 million for her career on the LPGA, died on Christmas Eve, her longtime partner said. She was 83.
Bettye Odle did not disclose a cause of death, saying only that Whitworth died suddenly Saturday night while celebrating with family and friends.
Whitworth won the first of her 88 titles in the Kelly Girls Opens in July 1962. She won six majors during her career and broke Mickey Wright’s record of 82 career wins when Whitworth captured the Lady Michelob in the summer of 1982. Her final victory came in 1985 at the United Virginia Bank Classic.
She was the LPGA player of the year seven times in an eight-year span (1966 through 1973). She won the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average seven times and was the leading money winner in eight seasons. All that was missing from her career was the U.S. Women’s Open, the biggest of the women’s majors.
Whitworth was the AP Female Athlete of the Year in 1965 and in 1967, when she easily beat out Wimbledon singles champion Billie Jean King. Whitworth was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.
Snead was credited with a record 82 wins on the PGA Tour, a total Woods has since matched. Wright won 82 times on the LPGA Tour.
Whitworth was born in Monahans, a small West Texas town, and learned to play golf in New Mexico. She started at age 15 in Jal, New Mexico, on the nine-hole course built for the El Paso Natural Gas employees.
DALLAS (AP)The Dallas Mavericks have honored retired star Dirk Nowitzki by unveiling his statue outside the arena before thier Christmas Day victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The statue depicts the signature one-legged fadeaway jumper that helped Nowitzki become the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA history. The ceremony came on the 11th anniversary of the franchise’s only other Christmas game. Nowitzki was the face of the franchise then.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Stephen Curry will miss at least two more weeks for Golden State as he recovers from a partial dislocation of the left shoulder.
The Warriors said Saturday the 34-year-old guard was re-evaluated and is making good progress, with another exam scheduled in two weeks.
CAIRO (AP) – At least 27 people were injured when stands partly collapsed Saturday during a basketball game at the Hassan Moustafa Sports Hall.
Officials said part of the seats fell on spectators at the Super Cup game between Cairo’s Al-Ahly and Ittihad of Alexandria following a stampede in the stands. The game was called off.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Stephan Bonnar, the former fighter who played a significant role in the UFC’s growth into the dominant promotion in mixed martial arts, has died, UFC announced. He was 45.
Bonnar, who was inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame in 2013, died Thursday from ”presumed heart complications while at work,” according to a statement from UFC on Saturday. No further details were released.
Bonnar, who originally was from Indiana, hadn’t fought in the UFC since 2014, and he went just 8-6 during seven years with the promotion.
Quarterback Kedon Slovis is transferring from Pittsburgh to BYU, he announced Saturday on social media.
Slovis, who had transferred from Southern California to Pitt, has one year of eligibility remaining. He will compete for the starting job at BYU in its first season in the Big 12 Conference.