Wednesday, January 26

Kerr and Creamer Voice Serious Concerns About New Event

LPGA STARS CRISTIE KERR and Paula Creamer have serious concerns about the inaugural RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, according to Randall Mell of Neither player has committed to play in the new event that honors the LPGA’s 13 founders.

The tournament will be played on March 18-20 in Phoenix, the first of 13 U.S. events on the 2011 LPGA schedule. A projected $500,000 of the “mock” $1.3 million purse will go to the LPGA Foundation. Except for receiving a stipend for tournament-related expenses, the ladies will play for free. The women’s “mock” winnings from the imaginary purse will count on the official money list.

Playing gratis doesn’t bother Creamer. She likes the concept and the cause. What Paula told Mell she is “having a difficult time with” is why the new title sponsor can’t donate the entire mock purse amount to the LPGA charity.

“If we were able to have $1.3 million in real money sitting there, and donate it back, I would be the first one to sign up for this event,” she said.

Creamer was also concerned about how the format looks to existing title sponsors that offer real purse money.

Kerr said the new tournament went from an idea to a 2011 event too quickly without adequate player input. “It’s turned what was an opportunity into an obligation.”

She gave LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan credit for a good concept, but was undecided about her involvement based on concerns about the format. Other uncommitted players include Michelle Wie, Suzann Pettersen and Morgan Pressel.

Those committed to teeing it up in Phoenix include Jiyai Shin, Ai Mazato, Juli Inkster, Brittany Lincicome, Angela Stanford and Christina Kim.

−The Armchair Golfer

(Photo credit: Pablo Lancaster-Jones, Flickr, Creative Commons license)


Cynthia Cronk said...

I don't blame them. They are asking for accountability for the balance of the funds and would rightly expect the entire purse to be donated to the charitable cause.

bkuehn1952 said...

Maybe RR Donnelley only wants to put up $500,000 or so in prize money. The Tour, in an effort to encourage the players to participate, is willing to grant credit to the winner (and others) for more "money" than is actually in the kitty. For someone who is going to be exempt on tour, credit for this "money" means little. However, if you are struggling to get into the top 100 and finish high in this tournament, it is a nice bonus that your annual winnings get boosted by a much larger amount.

I don't think anyone is siphoning off the extra money. The money probably is not there.

Do I know what I am talking about or have inside information? No. However, I watched some LPGA events in the past and therefore consider myself an expert in these matters.

Everything said...

Yeh, this set up vav the prize money just doesn't meet standard criteria for accountability and clarity.

I agree with the players who hesitate to endorse this approach.

The tourney should FIX this problem for all the reasons expressed as concerns in the article.

Good for Paula etal for standing up for a better way to do things.