19th Annual Kathy Whitworth Invitational draws world’s top junior girl golfers to Fort Worth


Seventy-two of the world’s best junior girl golfers will arrive in Fort Worth to compete in the 19th Annual Kathy Whitworth Junior Girls Invitational Golf Tournament March 12-13, at Mira Vista Country Club, a news release said.

In addition to having the opportunity to show off their skills to the college recruiters in attendance from across the nation, the golfers will compete for the Kathy Whitworth Junior Girls Championship title.

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Local, notable competitors in the 2018 tournament include Malisone Chanthapanya, Fort Worth; Hailey Jones, Dallas; Trinity King, Arlington; sisters Serena and Symran Shah, Carrollton; Anna Takahashi, Grapevine; and Malak Bouraeda of Southlake.

The Kathy Whitworth Invitational is a two-day tournament est. in 1999 that brings in more than 150 worldwide applicants each year for the 72 available spots, the release said. Since its inception, the invitational has brought more than 1200 of the world’s top junior girl golfers to Fort Worth including Paula Creamer, Jessica Korda, Nelly Korda, Brittany Lang, Morgan Pressel, Jane Park, Christina Kim and April McCoy.

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Two competitors in this year’s invitational are rated in the Golfweek top 10 including: Yujeong Son from Norman, Oklahoma, and Rachel Heck, from Memphis, Tennessee.

The tournament benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth and has expanded over the years to include additional events:

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— On Thursday, March 8, Whitworth will co-lead a youth golf clinic with Mira Vista golf pro staff and local collegiate golfers for 50 members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth.

— On Sunday, March 11, the competitors will play in a sponsor/amateur event, which is followed by a sponsors’ reception and champions’ dinner with Whitworth.

 “We are so blessed to have Kathy Whitworth grace our tournament with her name, stature and support,” Daphne Barlow Stigliano, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth, said in the release. “Kathy has made amazing contributions to the game of golf, as well as continued to support the growth of girls golf in this country and issues facing our young people. It is our pleasure to honor her in this way, through the Kathy Whitworth Invitational.”

This year, the tournament’s honorary chair is Walter Rainwater of the Rainwater Charitable Foundation, The tournament is endorsed by Golfweek, as well as prior honorary chairs such as writer Dan Jenkins, Marty Leonard, Bob Lansford, Nicholas and Louella Martin, and LPGA professional Angela Stanford.  

The tournament’s namesake, Kathy Whitworth, resides in D-FW and is a seven-time LPGA Player of the Year with six majors and 88 career wins, an all-time record for both men’s and women’s U.S. tours.