Professional golf fans were left mourning this past weekend after sport legend Kathy Whitworth passed away at the age of 83.
According to Fox News, Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan announced Whitworth's death in a joint statement with her longtime partner Bettye Odle.
"It is with a heart full of love that we let everyone know of the passing of the winningest Golf Professional ever, Kathy Whitworth," Odle was quoted as saying.
"Kathy passed suddenly Saturday night celebrating Christmas Eve with family and friends," she continued. "Kathy left this world the way she lived her life, loving, laughing and creating memories."
It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that LPGA Hall of Famer Kathy Whitworth has died at the age of 83.
Her 88 LPGA victories are the most ever on a professional tour.
Remembering the legend ⬇️ https://t.co/RskmaVPSKw
— LPGA (@LPGA) December 25, 2022
Meanwhile, Marcoux Samaan hailed Whitworth, who won an LPGA Tour record 88 times, as being one of golf's "most incredible women."
"Kathy was a champion in the truest sense of the word, both on the golf course and off," the LPGA official explained in her statement.
"In the short time I spent with Kathy, I was truly blown away by her and her approach to the game and to life," Marcoux Samaan stressed.
The sports official went on to say that Whitworth's "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," Marcoux Samaan concluded.
Tributes to Whitworth were posted on social media following her death, including from former college golfer and documentary filmmaker Nicole Gaddie. She called Whitworth "golf's greatest winner."
I met Kathy Whitworth for the first time last month. She took a swing on the range and my jaw dropped. Her flexibility, swing speed and positioning were unreal. “It all starts with the grip,” she reminded me a couple times that day. RIP to golf’s greatest winner. pic.twitter.com/vBlzhvksB0
— Nicole Gaddie (@NicoleGaddie) December 25, 2022
Sports reporter Rachel Bleier spoke up as well, tweeting that Whitworth "had one of the sweetest swings you ever did see."
Kathy Whitworth had won 88 times on the LPGA Tour, the most in history.
That's more wins than Tiger has on the PGA Tour.
She had one of the sweetest swings you ever did see. pic.twitter.com/cM7wJ6fF4C
— Rachel Bleier (@Rachel_Bleier) December 25, 2022