LPGA.com counts down to the end of 2011 with the LPGA Tour's 11 top stories of the year. Join us as we look back at the year's most memorable milestones. Read about the LPGA's inaugural RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in which LPGA pros competed for charity in Story No. 6.
Innovative Founders Cup Donates Entire Purse To Charity
Hall of Famer Karrie Webb won the inaugural RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix, but the real winner of the March tournament was charity -- with more than $1 million awarded to a variety of charities.
The event was designed to honor the 13 LPGA Founders, while celebrating and showcasing current LPGA players and providing funding for grassroots golf by contributing $500,000 to the LPGA Foundation and its LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program. The tournament also distributed an additional $500,000 to the designated charities of the event's top-10 finishers. Rather than earning money for their play during tournament week, top finishers in the field donated their winnings from the entire $1 million purse to charities of their choice.
Webb elected to split her first-place charitable prize of $200,000 between the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation and the Japan Relief Effort. Runners-up Brittany Lincicome of Florida donated her share of the prize money ($77,500) to the First Tee of St. Petersburg, Fla., while Paula Creamer of California contributed her share ($77,500) to the Japan Relief Charity (following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan).
In addition, RR Donnelley committed $100 per birdie and $500 per eagle on holes 15-18 on Friday and Saturday to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF's Japan relief efforts. Dubbed the "Japan Relief Zone," RR Donnelley opted to "up" the donations on Sunday, contributing $500 per birdie and $1,000 per eagle on holes 15-18 at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. Some 285 birdies and four eagles made possible a $53,300 donation from RR Donnelley to the U.S. Fund.
The top 10 finishers and ties each earned money for their designated charities.