Whitworth to captain U.S. team at 2013 Jr. Solheim

Esther Lee and Kathy Whitworth leave the 18th green on Tuesday after the Fresh and Easy-Kraft Foods Legacy Junior Challenge at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

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It’s been a decade since Kathy Whitworth’s name showed up in connection with the Solheim Cup. The 88-time LPGA winner will be back in the coaching saddle in 2013 as she captains the U.S. team at the Ping Junior Solheim Cup.

Whitworth, 72, twice was selected as Solheim Cup captain, and led the Americans in the inaugural contest in 1990. She bowed out before the start of play in 1992 because of a family emergency. This time, she’ll lead the top 12 junior girls in the country as they look for a third consecutive victory against Europe. Whitworth already is active in junior golf as the host of the annual Kathy Whitworth Invitational, a girls-only event played each spring at Mira Vista GC in Fort Worth, Texas.

“I know how much the Solheim Cup has meant to me and I know the Ping Junior Solheim Cup is at the top of the list for these players,” Whitworth said. “I want this to be a lot of fun for the players and I know this is going to be fun for me.”

Whitworth won at least one LPGA tournament every year from 1962 to 1978, which is the longest streak in LPGA history, and was named the AP Athlete of the Year in 1965 and 1967. She is a member of the LPGA Hall of Fame.

“We at Ping are really excited to have Kathy serve as Captain for the U.S. Ping Junior Solheim Cup team,” said John A. Solheim, chairman and CEO of Ping. “I am thrilled that the members of both teams will be able to spend time with and learn from a player with more wins, 88, than any other player, man or woman. She is truly one of the great ladies of professional sports and will serve as a wonderful representative of this competition.”

The Junior Solheim Cup venue has not been announced, but the matches will be played during September 2013 near Colorado GC in Parker, Colo., site of the Solheim Cup. It will be the seventh playing of the Junior Solheim Cup, with the U.S. leading the series, 3-2-1.

–Information from the AJGA used in this report

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