“This is the story of an American athlete you’ve probably never heard of. It’s a story of missed putts and missing the cut. But most of all, this is a story about courage.”
That’s how Rhonda Glenn began her feature on Kathy Linney in 1980. Kathy joined the LPGA tour in 1975. In her best year on tour, 1977, she finished 80th on the money list.
But Kathy Linney’s story isn’t about money; it’s about courage. She died of breast cancer in 1982 at the age of 36. Her story is about facing adversity with a deep sense of purpose, grit, resilience and uncommon grace. It’s also about the LPGA, the motivating power of golf, and a special community of competitors who are also caring friends.
I learned of Kathy from a chance meeting with her brother, Jim. When I later googled “Kathy Linney LPGA,” there wasn’t much to be found. The many articles and interviews that Jim later shared aren’t on the web.
In the 40 years since Kathy’s passing, her memory fades with the passing of those who knew her. But her story is too important to be forgotten. And October is the right month for this remembrance.