The LPGA returns to Phoenix this week after a one year hiatus. The event is the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup to be played at the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
The tournament is a touch quirky in that there is no real “purse” for which the players will be competing. Rather, well, let me give you the words of the LPGA for an accurate explanation taken straight from this link http://www.lpga.com/content_1.aspx?pid=27726&mid=1.
The RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup is a one-of-a-kind event that will honor the past, celebrate and showcase the present and provide for the future of the game. Come Sunday, $500,000 will be donated to the LPGA Foundation and its LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program, and another $500,000 to player-designated charities. The $500,000 allotted for player-designated charities is a pool which will be distributed to the top-10 finishers with the following breakdown: 1st: $200,000; 2nd: $100,000; 3rd: $55,000; 4th: 40,000; 5th: $30,000; 6th: $25,000; 7th: $20,000; 8th: $15,000, 9th: $10,000; 10th: $5,000.
While LPGA players will forgo tournament earnings in favor of charity, results at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup will impact the 2011 LPGA Official Money List. Players also will earn points towards Rolex Player of the Year, Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, Rolex Rankings and U.S. Solheim Cup team. Scores posted also will count towards the prestigious Vare Trophy.
Now we really have little interest in all the money stuff, although we're sure that's not the case with the competitors. Nevertheless, the concept of having a Founders Cup is a marketing stroke of genius. And that's why the LPGA hired Michael Whan a little more than a year ago – for his marketing background.
He's taking a giant step in the right direction here.