Founders Cup modified after player concerns

Karrie Webb, right, hits a shot during the fourth round of the 2009 J Golf Phoenix LPGA International at Papago Golf Course.

The LPGA has announced modifications to its controversial Founders Cup. The most significant change is that the amount being donated to charity has doubled. The purse will drop from $1.3 million to $1 million, but the entire amount will go to charity – $500,000 to the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf and $500,000 to designated charities of the top 10 finishers. 

It’s a good move by LPGA commissioner Mike Whan, who listened to the concerns of several top players. The discrepancy in the total purse and the amount given to charity was the main concern of Paula Creamer, who had yet to commit to the event. 

“I certainly could have done a better job of initially articulating the details to players and media,” said Whan, “as that has led to some confusion about the tournament’s goals and objectives.”

Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel voiced their concerns several weeks ago. Suzann Pettersen already has decided to skip the year’s first domestic event.

The tournament will be held March 18-20, 2011 at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix.

Winnings will still be official, meaning their “mock” earnings will be applied the money list. The tournament champion will be able to donate $200,000 to the charity of her choice, second places gets $100,000, third place $55,000, etc.

Several players already have announced their designated charities: Kristy McPherson, Arthritis National Research Foundation; Natalie Gulbis, The Girls & Boys Club of Henderson Serving Southern Nevada; Beatriz Recari, The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness.

Additionally, the top 5 finishers in Phoenix will receive a spot in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

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