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Professional Golfer Kathy Whitworth Was Born
September 27, 1939

Woman GolferHave you been following the spectacular golfing career of Tiger Woods?  Well, he's got a big task ahead of him to match the achievement of Kathy Whitworth, professional golf's all-time leading tournament winner.  Born September 27, 1939, in Monahans, Texas, Kathy Whitworth won her first tournament, the Kelly Girls Open, in 1962.  In 1985, she won her 88th, setting the tournament victory record for a professional golfer--man or woman. She sure stayed out of sand traps! And her honors go well beyond that.

Whitworth started playing golf at the age of 15.  At 19, she joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. Over the next 15 years, she received the LPGA Player of the Year Award seven times. In 1965, and again in 1967, the Associated Press named her Athlete of the Year. Golf Magazine called her "Golfer of the Decade" for her outstanding performance between 1968 and 1977. And in 1975, Whitworth was inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame. During that time she also worked with her peers to help women golfers gain greater recognition and financial rewards.

And Whitworth is still on the course today, though her focus is on helping other women master the game that privileged American women first tried in the mid-1890s. Then, women of social status found the adventure and challenge of golf as an opportunity to engage in sport. In the 1920s, after women championed the suffrage movement and gained the right to vote, women began playing in amateur tournaments. In the 1940s and 1950s, golfing greats such as Babe Didrikson Zaharias started the LPGA tour and tried to make the sport more accessible to women of all races and social classes. With new super champions today such as Karrie Webb and Tiger Woods, golf is more popular than ever. Why not pick up a club and try a swing. Fore!

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