THE INAUGURAL RR DONNELLEY LPGA Founders Cup, which tees off on Thursday in Phoenix, has a $1 million purse. But none of the 134 players will dip into it. All the purse money from the new tournament that honors the 13 founders of the LPGA will be directed to charitable causes: $500,000 to the LPGA Foundation and $500,000 to the designated charities of the top-10 finishers.
One player who will likely be near the top when the tournament winds down on Sunday is Yani Tseng, the 22-year-old LPGA star who sits atop the Rolex Rankings as the women’s world No. 1 golfer. After winning three times in 2010, including the Women’s British Open, Tseng captured the season-opening Honda LPGA Thailand. She is a force.
This week she’ll be playing for Japan. After researching charities online, Tseng selected the UNICEF Tap Project, which is raising funds to aid Japanese children affected by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.
“I have a soft spot in my heart for children,” Tseng said at LPGA.com, “so I hope my play in Phoenix can help this great cause.”
The concept and implementation of the new tournament have stirred plenty of debate in recent weeks. But now that the players are on board and it’s time to tee it up, many are sharpening their focus on charitable causes. At the moment, none loom larger than the relief efforts in Japan.
−The Armchair Golfer
(Photo credit: Keith Allison, Flickr, Creative Commons license)