The LPGA has encouraged followers of the Tour to See Why It’s Different Out Here and on Wednesday, a few current and former Major League Baseball players got the opportunity to experience that first hand while taking part in the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup pro-am.
Former Phillies star and current ESPN baseball analyst John Kruk (@JohnKruk_ESPN), Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski and two-time World Series champion Aaron Rowand all played in Wednesday’s pro-am at Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. Kruk and Pierzynski were paired with Kristy McPherson (@Kristy2208) and Gerina Piller (@GerinaPiller) in the nine-and-nine pro-am format while Rowand was paired with Mindy Kim (@mindykim89) and Paige Mackenzie (@Paige_Mackenzie).
For Kruk, it wasn’t his first experience playing in an LPGA pro-am as he’s a frequent supporter of the Tour. But Pierzynski and Rowand both raved about the experience and what it was like to get the chance to learn from playing with the LPGA golfers.
“They were really fun to play with, that was the biggest thing for me,” Pierzynski said. “We had a great time out there. The two girls we were lucky to play with on my right and left were just fun. I know they're better than me, I already knew that going in, so I wasn't expecting that as much as John was, who was I think expecting to break par. It was fun to get to know them, get to see them play. It was awesome to read putts and watch how they go about their business and see how good they really are.”
The experience was also fun for the LPGA players, as Piller and McPherson are admitted baseball fanatics. For Piller, who resides in Texas and is a big Texas Rangers fan, the opportunity to play with Pierzynski was already a highlight of her week in Phoenix.
“I grew up playing little league baseball with the guys for eight years, so I kind of had to hold back with my baseball questions,” Piller said. “I did ask you one [A.J.]. So I was itching to ask a whole lot more. It's great to see someone be so good at their sport in baseball and come out to our sport. So it's pretty cool to play with someone that's kind of in the spotlight like we are and you just get to share that experience, and whether we're playing in our backyard or we go watch them, we appreciate what they do and they appreciate what we do.”