Ashley and Katie will be your inside look to the JTBC Founders Cup.
From Katie & Ashley:
“What was your favorite part of this tournament?”
By Katie Stinchcomb, JTBC Founders Cup Girls Golf Course Reporter
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Today I had an incredible time at the fourth and final round of the JTBC LPGA Founders Cup. When we arrived I attended the “Girls Golf Ice Cream Social.” We enjoyed delicious “Dip’n Dots” ice cream and socialized with some of our golf friends.
Once the ice cream social ended, Ashley and I walked over to the 18th hole to start our interviews with some of the players who just completed their round. As the players were signing autographs we were able to ask them questions about the tournament. Many of the golfers were generous enough to take photos with us.
I asked all of the ladies: “What is your favorite part about this tournament?” Here are some of the responses:
“The best part would have to be coming out to this wonderful tournament and being able to see the founders and all the girls supporting us,” Paula Creamer.
Britney Lincicome claimed that the best part of the event was “Definitely seeing all the young girls out here and hopefully inspiring them to be a part of the LPGA someday.”
It was also a great opportunity to meet Cheyenne Woods who stated the best part was “being able to see her home (she grew up in Phoenix) and seeing all of my supporters out here.”
I really enjoyed being a part of interviewing these players and absolutely loved they replied!
As Stacy Lewis and HJ Kim were approaching the 18th green, a large group of “Girls Golf” members wearing pink T-shirts followed. This has become a tradition at the Founders Cup. At the end of the tournament the girls went on to the green and took a group photo with the trophy and the champion, HJ Kim.
“What was MY favorite part of this tournament?” --- The highlight of my experience was when Ashley and I interviewed HJ Kim after the awards presentation. It was very interesting to speak to her through a translator. She said we spoke in a very professional manner and that we asked very good questions. One response that really stuck in my mind was when I asked “what was the best part of this tournament or the week?” Her reaction was a laugh and she said “WINNING OF COURSE!!!” We chatted with her for quite some time and it was a a wonderful experience.
What a great experience being a “Junior Course Reporter” for the 2015 JTBC LPGA Founders Cup, I will remember this for the rest of my life!!!
It's a Wrap from the Valley of the Sun!
By Ashley Menne, JTBC Founders Cup Girls Golf Course Reporter
Sunday, March 22, 2015
The old saying of 'time flies when you are having fun' - well, I can affirmed that it is totally true. It is also true that 'all good things must come to an end' – with that being said, we conclude with the wrap of one LPGA JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix!
The final day of the Founder's Cup has arrived. We can feel the tingling feeling of excitement in the air as all the golf fans anxiously awaited to see how it will play out today and welcome the new LPGA champion for the Founder's Cup.
The sunny day started off with some delicious Dipp’in Dots treats for all the Girl's Golf of Phoenix and friends. Katie and I joined in the festivity before heading over to the scoring table area to interview some of the players that had just completed their rounds at the 18th hole. We had the great honor of interviewing four seasoned veteran women golfers.
The first awesome golfer was Ms. Paula Creamer. She described her round today as 'ok'; she said she gave herself a lot of chances to make birdies but just couldn't seize the opportunities. She had missed more putts than she would have liked. I totally get that and I can relate.
The second lady golf pro that graciously accepted our interview was Ms. Brittany Lincicome, who happens to be one of the Ambassadors for Girls Golf. Because she is one of the LPGA Tour's most powerful players off the tee, her circle of friends gave her the nickname 'Bam Bam' (She is the Girls Golf Empower Ambassador!). She shared with us that her round was average today - She hit great shots into the greens and set herself up for birdies but just could not make it happen. With a little smile, she said “I'm going to put my putter in the time-out zone tonight - but if I can get it back on track before next week's tournament, it would be great.”
The third Tour Player we interviewed is a familiar name in Phoenix because she was born and raised here. She is none other than the graceful, Ms. Cheyenne Woods. Founder's Cup was like a home tournament for her because of her family and connections here. During the brief interview, she said she started her round a tad rocky due to three putting on the 1st hole. Nonetheless, her closing at the back nine was phenomenal because she finished strong with an eagle on Hole #15 and overall, it was a “pretty good round”. She closed with a 2-under-par 70.
Lastly, Katie and I managed to nab an interview from the top ranked woman professional golfer - the phenom - Ms. Lydia Ko! On 2nd February 2015 at the age of 17, she became the youngest of either gender to be ranked Number one in professional golf. What an awesome achievement and definitely a role model for all the young golfers in the world. She felt that she shot a pretty decent round today but was a little frustrated because she could have done a little better. She was a little surprised when Katie and I approached her for an interview …just because we aren't like any other adult reporters she had dealt with. We received a positive accolade from her that we were quite professional in our role as Junior Course Reporter. YAY! Before bidding her farewell, we couldn't resist doing a selfie with Ms. Lydia Ko!
As dusk approached in the Valley of the Sun, the Champion of the Founder's Cup was announced – Congratulations, Ms. Hyo Joo Kim. With a translator by her side, we asked her what was the most memorable thing about playing in the Founder's Cup? With a hint of amusement in her voice, she cheekily said being interviewed by two kids made it to the list because this was the first for her! How about that? Sensing her euphoric mood after her win, we proceeded with a couple more 'standard professional question' fashioned in The Golf Channel style, hopefully. We asked her what was the highlight of her day was, namely her best shot or putt? Right away, she said it would have to be the approach shot to the 18th green. She felt a lot of pressure but she managed to get her job done and hit it really close (within 5 feet to make the putt). She felt that she played very well today especially having made lots of birdie putts. Last but not least, we asked her what it was like to play with Ms. Stacy Lewis? She shared with us that she was really quite nervous in the beginning she tries to play at her level. I can believe it; being just 19 years old and a rookie at it can be quite unnerving.
With the presentation of the trophy and award, it is a wrap from Katie & myself from the Founder's Cup at Wildfire Golf Resort. We hope you enjoyed our behind-the-scene bits and pieces reporting. It has been a thrilling journey for me to meet all the important people who worked hard to put together first-class golf tournaments, all the women golf legends, LPGA Tour Players and many more. Thank you to the tournament team, the LPGA, The Girls Golf National and the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Phoenix and Cori Alberdi for giving me this amazing opportunity. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did. This is Ashley Menne signing out. Back to school!!!
By Katie Stinchcomb, Girls Golf Jr. Course Reporter
Friday, March 20, 2015
What a wonderful time Ashley and I had on Friday (March 20th) at the JTBC LPGA Founders Cup. We got to see the media room - we brought phoenix Itty Bitty player, Bradley with us too!!! The media center is where the players are interviewed after they finish their round. It was fun to sit down in the interview chairs and act like we were the players being interviewed. The media center has tons of moving parts and is always in action – Along with the tournament staff, they are the first on property and often the last to leave.
Then, we toured the Exercise Trailer where the players can stretch and workout. The players can also come to the trailer for physical therapy, medicine if they are not feeling well, or simply to relax. Ashley and I met Chris Crook who provides physical therapy for the players and staff. Chris answered many of our questions and told us that the trailer is like a “mini hospital that travels with the tour around the world.”
We also toured the LPGA pro locker room and the players dining room – Got to see the behind the scenes that the players see. It was cool to see this since we came on property a few weeks ago and it has all been transformed!
Transportation is a huge part of any tour. We had the privilege of meeting Mary Byrd who oversees all the transportation needs for the tournament. Mary schedules people to pick up players, caddies, family members and tournament staff when they need to get to and from the event. This takes lots of detail and attention.
One of our favorite interviews of the day was with Kate Gold!!! She appears from time to time on the web show “Ash and Ty”. When Kate is on the show, they call it the “Ash and Ty + Kate” show. I personally enjoyed getting interviewed by Kate because she didn’t ask hard questions – it was FUN!!!! She asked us questions such as; what’s it like to see the tournament in the making and now, who is our favorite player, and how long have we been playing golf. I can’t wait to watch her little webisode….
Overall, Friday was a very fun and interesting day at the JTBC LPGA Founders Cup – it was a jammed packed few hours and a whirlwind of exciting information. Looking forward to reporting again on Sunday!!!
“Media, Parking & Founders – Oh My!!!!”
By Ashley Menne, Girls Golf Jr. Course Reporter
Friday, March 20, 2015
Round 2 of the JTBC Founders Cup was a blast!! Katie, Bradley (a local itty bitty player) and I had the privilege to visit the Media Center where interviews with the Tour players were conducted after their round. This area is off limit to the general public. It was really cool to seat ourselves in those huge chairs and soak in the thoughts of how the players felt at the moment when the lights, cameras and actions rolls at the same time!
While in the media center, we got a fun bonus… The bonus was bumping into Jenny Gold and Kate Goff from the Ash and Ty +Kate web show. We were treated like VIP with Kate shooting questions our way about our take on behind-the-scenes and our gain from it all. What a treat!
Then we headed to check out the locker room and the player's dining area. While in the locker room, guess who fate sent our way? It was Katherine Kirk (previously Katherine Hull) from Australia! She was the dynamic Aussie golfer that sank all the amazing long putts for birdies during the 2015 ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open in February. She was checking in and picking up her badge. She shared with us the importance of a badge. It identified her as a tour player and granted her access to places behind the ropes. What a delight to hear her Aussie accent as she chatted with us for a few minutes.
Let me introduce an awesome lady volunteer from Transportation, Ms. Mary Byrde! Did you know that this section is ran entirely by volunteers? It takes many hands and coordination to manage transportation for LPGA staff and tour players to and from their desired destinations.
On the left side of the driving range, T&CP were set up at the LPGA Lesson Zone to give 10 minutes lesson to the fans. There were 5 instructors and we met 3 of them. They were Ms. Peggy Gustafson (Vice President of Central Section), Ms. Brittney Daniels and Ms. Tammy Borden (the key person who oversees the certification of the instructors). All instructors at this station have to be certified through 3 levels of training and tested to get their certification. They had the putting greens set up with ropes for 3 holes manned by the staff from PING Repair & Fitting Center - similar to the putting station from Drive Chip & Putt. Fans were invited to participate in the 3 holes putting contest. Doing the 3 holes putting competition evoked some fond memories when I was competing in the Drive Chip & Putt at Augusta in 2014.
On our way to the fitness trailer, Mr. Blass (tournament Director) pointed out some parking lot fun!!! 'No Logo, Got to Go Go' … a common chant from the parking lot crew. All operators and owners of private vehicles that have a purpose to be present at the golf course will be issued a special logo sticker. Illegal car parkers beware …the tow truck teams are vigilantly on the lookout for cars that don't belong there. Once they have identified the ones that stuck out like a sore thumb, it will be hooked up to the tow truck and get a free ride out of the lot to the street curbside. Even the parking lot attendance takes an army…
Then we got to the player fitness trailer! There are 2 physical therapists on site to provide massages, help out with the daily workouts or warm up stretching routines. The station also serves as a medical dispensary or simply a place to chill with their favorite people. One of the health guru that met us is Mr. Curtis Crook. He has been to about 26 tournaments in the U.S to help out the Tour players with their minor 'wear & tear' health related issues.
Our last exciting adventure for today was hanging out with the Pioneers, Hall of Famers and Founders, - Shirley Spork, Marilynn Smith, Sandra Palmer, Donna Caponi and LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan - at the Founders Perch. Just from googling their past mega achievements each of these respected golfers had in their report cards, we were in absolute awe just to be in their commanding presence. After their round, the Tour players would step up to exchange greetings with the Founders before walking off to scoring table. Just thinking to myself, would I have the opportunity to do the same one day in the near future …….'Little girl, Big dreams'
From media interviews, parking, locker-room, player registration, the Lesson Zone & meeting the founders, it was a super exiting day and I can’t wait to report more on Sunday!
See you on Sunday,
“First Swing Clinic”
By Katie Stinchcomb, Girls Golf Jr. Course Reporter
On Sunday, March 15th I was able to attended the "Girls Golf Fun Run and First Swing Clinic." All the girls at this clinic were members of "Girls on the Run" an organization for girls to have fun with their friends and run. All of the girls there were brand new to golf!
The event started off with a one mile fun run around the course and when they got back there were delicious fruit smoothies made by a nutritionist. The nutritionist educated them about being healthy and staying hydrated when exercising – Focusing on one of the LPGA Girls Golf Core Values, Exercise!
Then the girls got to GOLF! There were many stations, including putting, full swing, and "golfzilla" (an inflatable dinosaur that they hit golf balls into). At these stations there were golf instructors to teach the kids the basics of golf; such as how to hold a club, what the club does and what the goal is. It was very interesting to see all these beginners interested in the game of golf and wanting to learn more about it. I enjoyed observing the game grow.
“Busy Press & Media Day”
By Katie Stinchcomb, Girls Golf Jr. Course Reporter
Today I had the privilege to walk inside the ropes and follow a group at the Pro-Am. The group included ladies pro golfer Nicole Castrale, Media Director, Kraig Kann, Sandi Young and pro football players Larry Fitzgerald & Andre Roberts – What an awesome group!!! It was interesting to see how competitive all the golfers were and how happy they were when someone made a good shot.
While following this group, one of the founding members of the LPGA, Marilynn Smith, came by and introduced herself. It was truly an honor to meet Marilyn; she was very encouraging and told us to always have fun while playing golf. She even let us take a selfie with her - Also In the pic is my golfing buddy, Kyla and Debbie Waitkus!
When the group finished the pro-am, the players were interviewed by the media, signed autographs and took pictures with fans – that was fun to watch – the crowd loved this group.
After we left the course, I ran into another founding member, Shirley Spork. Shirley is the only founding member who still plays golf, she is 87!!! She told me about all the new exercise equipment that golfers use today to stay in shape. She told me I needed to work out to hit the ball further! It was sweet - I hope I am still playing at 87!
I also had a chance to chat with & interview the host of Big Break, Tom Abbott. WHAT??? Considering Big Break is one of my favorite shows, I was very excited to be doing this. After I concluded my interview, Tom turned the tables and started to interview me! Ha - FUN!
Next, we toured the TV production trailer; the trailer was absolutely full of TV's showing all the different camera angles and shots. It was neat to see the production of them recording the advertisements and seeing all of what goes into what we see on TV.
It was a jammed packed day with celebrities, professionals, media, press & so much fun! I can’t wait to see what the weekend has in store. Best of luck to all the players, See you on Saturday!
By Ashley Menne, Girls Golf Jr. Course Reporter
Yesterday (Wednesday, March 18th) at the pro-am of the JTBC Founders Cup was exhilarating! Getting to meet many professionals and commentators from both the LPGA and Golf Channel was prodigious. I was one of the lucky girls that got up close & personal with our favorite LPGA National Ambassadors: Tiffany Joh, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome and Lizette Salas at the morning media press conference.
The ambassadors shared with us their personal experience about expanding the game of golf for girls and why keeping our options open to try new things. After being interviewed by the commentator, the girls in the audience got to pick the golfer’s brains with many other questions.
Afterwards Katie and I went for a Golf Channel meeting - We got to go on their trailer out in the middle of the course!!! We were introduced to the LPGA Golf Channel staff that consists of about 25 people. They were all discussing about the things that still needed to be done for the first day of the tournaments that will be broadcast live and what key things that should be mentioned.
After the meeting ended, Katie and I went outside to interview Mr. Tom Abbot and Mrs. Judy Rankin. Both are regular commentators we often watched on Golf Channel. Mrs. Rankins shared an important tip with us: When answering a question, the answer must be as long as the question was, and not a one-word reply. In other words, we must pick out the key points of the questions and elaborate on it. Great tip to remember for future interviews!
Katie and I also had the opportunity to visit the production trailer to check out firsthand how the crew works with their cameras, lightings and etc.. We met director who calls the shots in that trailer and he told us that he would communicate with the camera men on different holes through a headset, where to move the camera to and which angle so that he could check to see that no trash can or cooler was in its view. His job is critical as he wields the control over what the television audience watches, ie, all eyes on the LPGA players. Katie and I had the privilege of trying on the headsets and talk to the camera men. That was fun! We met his Assistant Director who is in charge of churning out advertisements in the trailers for the sponsors of the tournament.
Overall, Yesterday was an incredible and super awesome day for Katie & I at Founders Cup to go behind-the scene with the Media Crew. We are looking forward to the weekend rounds & seeing it all come together!
ASHLEY MENNE - Istagram: @ashley_menne
AGE 13 OF SURPRISE, AZ
Menne is a dedicated, motivated & athletic seventh grader in Surprise, Arizona. Menne received basics of golf introduction at the age of 5 years old under the watchful eye of an Australian PGA AAA Golf Professional. She has since grown to be one the most competitive juniors in the state. One of her goals is to attend Annika Sorenstam Golf Academy in Florida, she is a huge fan!
Menne is the current champion of the 49th Phoenix City Women's Championship. She is very proud of this success & winning such prestigious state event at only 12 years old is quite an achievement. Menne is very active in the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Phoenix, where she plays in the highest level of competition & brings home many awards! She is a mentor & friend to the other girls & really makes a positive & empowered mark. In addition to Girls Golf, she is a member of the Junior Golf Association of Arizona, US Kids Tour, The First Tee of Phoenix, the SWSPGA Junior Tour & the Drive, Chip & Putt Series. She was Player of the Year for Junior Golf Association of Arizona in 2013 & 2014. Menne was also the US Kids Phoenix Tour Player of the Year in 2013 & 2014. Also, one of her career highlights includes being one of 88 junior golfers in the inaugural Drive Chip & Putt that went to Augusta National to compete in 2014, she placed 3rd in her division. Clearly she is making her mark in Arizona Junior Golf & nationally as well.
In addition to competitive golf, she enjoy playing lacrosse, pottery & wheel-throwing & occasionally, goes to Ben Avery Shooting Range to practice marksmanship. Music also plays a big role in Menne’s life. She is also dedicated, committed & loving learning the violin with Musical Surprise.
Menne’s favorite quote is: "The most important shot in golf is the next one" from Ben Hogan. She strives to continue to excel in her studies, continue to learn and progress in golf, give her best in all she does & always focuses on the “next shot!”
KATIE STINCHCOMB - Instagram: @kate_makena
AGES, 12 OF CAVE CREEK, AZ
Stinchcomb is an energetic & outgoing 12 years old in the 6th Grade at Lone Mountain Elementary in Cave Creek, Arizona. Stinchcomb started golf at the age of 6 & works hard every day to improve her game! She is dedicated to her development & makes the most of her practice time. She has been a member of the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Phoenix since 2011, takes private lessons with LPGA Professional, Kathy Knadler, regularly & is also competitive in other state junior golf programs.
Off the golf course, Stinchcomb is a rock star student! School is her number one priority & her dedication has paid off with straight A's for the last 3 years. At school she is also an active & contributing member of the Student Council. Being involved interscholastically & being academically successful is imperative to Stinchcomb.
Art is also super important to Stinchcomb & she has embraced it since she was five! She is very active in an educational program that promotes critical thinking and creative problem solving skills for students called: Odyssey of the Mind and Art. Though the Odyssey program, Stinchcomb was honored to be a part of a national traveling team that qualified for World Championships. She has enjoyed traveling with this group! Her art background is strong & includes many local & school awards.
Everyone who meets Stinchcomb knows that she is personable, fun, sweet & easily relatable. She has a knack for public & social interaction. Along with her goals of academic achievement & golf success, Stinchcomb one day hopes to be the host of The Morning Drive on the Golf Channel