LPGA Founders Cup to honor 'pioneers'

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                                                        Dec. 28, 2011


     PHOENIX, Ariz. The LPGA announced Dec. 6 that the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, an event that focused on the celebration of the LPGA’s “past, present and future” in 2011, will return to Phoenix in 2012 with significant enhancements. The Founders Cup, which will always remember and respect the 13 women who started the LPGA in 1950, will now also feature a special tribute to LPGA “Pioneers” who had a major role in creating one of the most successful women’s sports organizations in history. In addition to celebrating LPGA “Pioneers,” current LPGA players will compete for a purse of $1.5 million, as well as the promise of $500,000 to the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program. The tournament, which will expand to a four-day, 72-hole format, is being held March 12-18, 2012 at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.


    “RR Donnelley, the LPGA and its players truly confirmed ‘Why It’s Different Out Here’ in 2011, making golf history by not only remembering the women that made the LPGA a reality, but also by “paying-it-forward” and playing entirely for charity and the expansion of the Girls Golf program,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “Next season, with RR Donnelley’s vision, we will prove that the Founders Cup sequel is even better than the original. We already know that the unique concept of the Founders Cup inspired the support of LPGA players and energized fans and media in its inaugural year. We will build on that positive momentum in 2012 and beyond with enhancements that include the celebration of LPGA pioneers, a strong player purse and a significant commitment to the Girls Golf program. Most importantly, the future of the game will continue to be the real winner at this event, as the proceeds continue to expand opportunities for young women to get started in this great game.”


    RR Donnelley will continue to make a significant difference in creating opportunities for girls with $500,000 going to support the LPGA Foundation and its LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program, which focuses on giving young girls the opportunity to learn and enjoy the game. Monies raised from the 2011 tournament funded 40 new Girls Golf sites across the United States and 1,500 new participants.


    “We are very proud to again sponsor a superb event that showcases exceptional athletic competition, recognizes the contributions of pioneering women and supports opportunities for girls to become involved in all of the positive attributes surrounding the game,” said RR Donnelley President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Quinlan III. “The Founders Cup reflects a deep respect for heritage and a desire to embrace innovation. These are values that we share as we look forward to an exciting RR Donnelley Founders Cup event.” 


    The 2012 event will also honor LPGA pioneers Peggy Kirk Bell, Betsy Rawls, Barbara Romack and Mickey Wright for their pioneering and trailblazing spirit, as well as their exemplary participation in the development and advancement of the LPGA. The inaugural RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup saluted the 13 pioneering women who founded the LPGA in 1950, including Louise Suggs, Marilynn Smith and Shirley Spork, who attended the week-long celebration of the LPGA’s past, present and future.


    The inaugural event attracted the best in the game, including RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup champion and LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb, Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng, former No. 1’s Cristie Kerr and Jiyai Shin, and fan favorites Brittany Lincicome and Wendy Ward. While the tournament will continue to honor the past and provide charitable donations for the future of the LPGA, the 2012 Founders Cup will also create quite an opportunity for current LPGA players with the addition of the $1.5 million purse.