The European Tour is today mourning the loss of Kate Wright who died this morning aged 36 following a two-year battle with cancer.
As the Tour’s Media Relations Co-ordinator for the past 12 years, Kate was a hugely popular figure amongst staff and players, but also amongst the journalists and broadcasters she worked with in media centres around the world.
Known affectionately as ‘Wrighty’, Kate was an accomplished golfer at Leighton Buzzard Golf Club, in Bedfordshire, England, where she was coached as a youngster by future Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter.
After graduating from Staffordshire University with a BA Hons in Journalism, Kate initially worked in cricket, another sport she had a passion for, taking the role of Media Relations Assistant for England & Wales Cricket Board in 2006 before joining the European Tour’s Media Department in January 2008.
She quickly became a familiar and popular face in Media Centres as the main point of contact for all accredited international media and broadcasters and, through her role, helping to co-ordinate European Tour press conferences.
Kate was also an integral part of the media centre teams at both the 2010 and 2014 Ryder Cups in Wales and Scotland, and she was in the process of preparing for The 2018 Ryder Cup when she was diagnosed with cancer just a couple of weeks before she was due to travel to Le Golf National.
Despite approaching that battle with the determination she was renowned for, Kate sadly passed away this morning at her family home in Great Brickhill with her parents Brian and Sue and her beloved cat Frankie by her side.
Scott Crockett, the European Tour’s Director of Communications, said: “The European Tour is a sad place today. We celebrate the fact that we are one family here at Wentworth, but we lost a beloved member of that family this morning.
“Kate Wright was a unique individual. Unfazed by anything thrown at her, unbridled in her passion for all sport, but unequivocal in her love of golf. She absolutely loved Tour life and Tour life absolutely loved her. Our department meetings and media centres will never quite be the same again.
“While we all feel a sense of loss right now, it is incomparable to what her dad Brian and mum Sue are going through. It goes without saying our hearts go out to them and that the thoughts of everyone at the European Tour who knew Kate and worked with her over the years are with them now. RIP Wrighty.”
Martin Dempster, Chairman, Association of Golf Writers, said: “Through covering golf, we are lucky to come across some special people and Kate - or "Wrighty" as she was called by many of us - was certainly in that category.
“From the moment you first met her, you could just sense her passion for life but sport in particular and it was a sheer joy to be in her company in media centres on the European Tour.
“Nothing was too much trouble for "Wrighty" if you needed some assistance and she always had a smile on her face.
“Some of us also enjoyed her company on the golf course, where she loved showing her skills and, as my own driver can testify, she was a fine striker of the ball.
“Wrighty" has been taken way too early, but she will never be forgotten by her friends in the AGW.”
David Facey, The Sun’s Golf Correspondent, said: “Like everyone else I am so terribly sorry to hear about Kate, but I feel privileged to have known her as a friend, a golfing partner, and a temporary landlady! She was one of the bravest, kindest, most generous, fun-loving people I have known.
“When I think of her, I will always picture her laughing loudly at some of the minor mishaps that have befallen me.”