Four groups to be named after Whitworth, Wright, Sorenstam & Berg
Gladstone, N.J. - The Sybase® Match Play Championship and LPGA jointly announced today that they will celebrate four of the greatest LPGA players in the history of the game by naming each of the four match-play brackets after the LPGA players with the most career wins in history. The four groups will be named for Kathy Whitworth (88 wins), Mickey Wright (82 wins), Annika Sorenstam (72 wins) and Patty Berg (60 wins), all of whom are members of both the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame.
"As we celebrate 60 years of the LPGA, we salute the four champions of our sport with the most wins in LPGA history," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. "At the same time, we embrace the compelling and innovative format of this year's Sybase Match Play Championship, a tournament that we expect will become one of our cornerstone events for many years to come."
The tournament's No. 1 seed will be placed in the Whitworth Group, while the No. 2, 3 and 4 seeds will be placed in the Wright Group, Sorenstam Group and Berg Group, respectively. All first-round matches will be drawn at a special media event at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18.
The Sybase Match Play Championships will be played May 20-23 at the pristine Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, New Jersey. The tournament will feature 64 of the best players in the world competing in an exciting match-play format for a purse of $1.5 million. Both Hamilton Farm and Sybase have a long history supporting women's professional golf.
The namesakes for the four brackets remain among the most celebrated athletes in women's sports history. Kathy Whitworth won 88 LPGA Tour tournaments in her career, more than any other player in the history of the game, male or female. Her career spanned more than four decades and included six major championships. Whitworth won seven Player of the Year awards, seven Vare Trophies and eight money list titles. She still holds the record for the most consecutive seasons with a win at 17 and record for the most career seasons with a victory at 22.
Mickey Wright amassed 82 wins and 13 major championships in her career. She was the only player to win four LPGA Championships and one of only two players to win the U.S. Women's Open four times. She still holds numerous all-time records, including the most wins in one season with 13. Wright also is the only player in LPGA history to ever hold all four major championship trophies at the same time. She won the final two major championships of the 1961 season, the U.S. Women's Open and the LPGA Championship and the first two majors of 1962, the Titleholders and the Western Open.
In her career, Annika Sorenstam won 72 times with 10 major championships. She captured eight Rolex Player of the Year Awards, six Vare Trophies, and led the LPGA Money List eight times. She is the only LPGA player to ever shoot 59 in an official tour event and she became the first LPGA player since Babe Zaharias to compete in a PGA Tour event when she played in the 2003 Bank of America Colonial. She is the only player in LPGA history to sweep the Player of the Year, Vare Trophy and Money List title five times.
Patty Berg was one of the 13 Founders of the LPGA, along with Louise Suggs, Babe Zaharias, Alice Bauer, Bettye Danoff, Marlene Hagge, Shirley Spork, Marilynn Smith, Helen Dettweiler, Opal Hill, Helen Hicks, Betty Jameson and Sally Sessions. Berg won 60 LPGA titles and a record 15 major championships, claiming seven Western Open titles, seven Titleholders Championships, and one U.S. Women's Open, the only time it was played as a match-play event. Berg led the LPGA money list three times, and three times she won the Vare Trophy. In 1955, she became the first LPGA player to achieve both honors. In 1978, the LPGA established the Patty Berg Award to reward outstanding contributions to women's golf, to honor Patty Berg and to recognize her diplomacy, sportsmanship, goodwill and contributions to the game.