RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup Announced Sponsor Exemptions

PHOENIX (March 10, 2011) – The RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup has announced the two sponsor exemptions are going to LPGA Tour rookies Jennifer Johnson and Shasta Averyhardt.

Johnson, 21, of Carlsbad, Calif., played collegiate golf at Arizona State University for one year, and was the runner-up at the 2010 NCAA Championship. She was named a 2010 NCAA First Team All-American and 2010 NCGA Freshman of the Year. In 2009 she finished runner-up at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship and was the low amateur at the 2010 U.S. Women's Open. Johnson was a member of the 2010 U.S. Curtis Cup Team, 2009 Junior Solheim Cup Team and 2009 Junior Ryder Cup Team.

Averyhardt, 25, of Flint, Mich., who is of African-American and Hispanic background, is just the fourth player with African-American heritage to play in an LPGA event (the others are Althea Gibson, Renee Powell and Laree Sugg). After graduating from Jackson State University in 2008, she turned professional and played the Sun Coast Tour in Florida, then earned her way onto the LPGA Futures Tour. She played 10 events on the developmental tour in 2010 and also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open. She tied for 22nd at the Final LPGA Qualifying Tournament in 2010 to earn LPGA status for 2011.

The RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, taking place March 18-20 at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, will donate its entire $1-million purse to charity, with $500,000 going to The LPGA Foundation and its LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program and $500,000 going to the top-10 finishers’ designated charities.

Johnson is designating the Wounded Warrior Project as the charity she’s playing for, while Averyhardt is playing for Blessings in a Backpack.

Additional LPGA players have chosen their designated charities. See below for preliminary list. List to be completed next week.

Last Name First Name Charity
Averyhardt Shasta Blessings in a Backpack
Bader Beth Susan L Bader Foundation of Hope
Bae Kyeong Drum Corps International
Blumenherst Amanda Lifetime Sports Academy of Ft.Wayne, Indiana
Carter Dori Tee it up for the Troops, Inc./LPGA Foundation
Choi Song Yi LPGA Girls Golf Foundation
Creamer Paula The Paula Creamer Foundation
Fankhauser Mollie Measle's Animal Haven Pit Bull Rescue
Fouch Allison Girls in the Game
Gal Sandra Barevný svet detí
Gulbis Natalie Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson- Serving Southern Nevada
Gustafson Sophie AIS
Hage Nicole Crones & Colitis Foundation of America
Jeong Jimin LPGA Girls Golf Foundation
Johnson Jennifer Wounded Warrior Project
Kang Jimin Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
LaCrosse Cindy Blessings in a Backpack
Lang Brittany Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County
Lee Sarah LPGA foundation
Lee Il Hee LPGA Girls Golf Foundation
Leon Taylor LPGA Girls Golf Foundation
Lewis Stacy Scoliosis Research Society
Lincicome Brittany First Tee of St Petersburg
Lindley Leta Josilyns Faith Foundation for Prader Willi Syndrome Inc
Mozo Belen Maria Garcia-Estrada Cancer Foundation
*Munoz Azahara Sun Devil Club
Oh Ji Young LPGA Girls Golf Foundation
*Park Grace Scottsdale Healthcare
Pressel Morgan The Morgan Pressel Foundation
Recari Beatriz The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness
Sergas Giulia K.A.S.E.
Sharp Alena Susan L Bader Foundation of Hope
Sherlock Stephanie Special Olympics Ontario
Shin Jiyai Make A Wish Foundation Georgia & Alabama Chapter
Song Aree Captain Planet Foundation
*Song Jennifer Arizona Quest for Kids
Stanford Angela The Angela Stanford Foundation
Steinhauer Sherri St. Johns Lutheran Church
Webb Karrie Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Yoo Sun Young LPGA Girls Golf Foundation

*Indicated a Arizona-based charity.

While LPGA players will forgo tournament earnings in favor of charity, results at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup will impact the 2011 LPGA Official Money List. Players also will earn points towards Rolex Player of the Year, Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, Rolex Rankings and U.S. Solheim Cup team. Scores posted also will count towards the prestigious Vare Trophy.

The RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup Pro-Am will take place at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix Thursday, March 17 and the first round begins on Friday, March 18 with the tournament concluding on Sunday, March 20.

For more tournament information, please visit www.LPGAFounders.com or call 1-888-LPGATIX (574-2849). Children 17 and under will receive free tournament admission with a ticketed adult. Active military members and their immediate family can receive free tournament admission when showing a valid active military ID at the main admission gate.

Topics: Press Release, LPGA Founders Cup, Johnson, Jennifer, Averyhardt, Shasta

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