PLAYERS RECOGNIZE LPGA HISTORY’S IMPACT AT FOUNDERS CUP
Sitting on a perch on the 18th green, three of the 13 LPGA Founders will be able to watch as players compete for the 2019 Bank of Hope Founders Cup title. Marilynn Smith, Marlene Hagge and Shirley Spork, along with 2019 LPGA Pioneer Laura Baugh, will have a front-row seat to this week’s tournament play. The opportunity to chat with these legends of the game is an experience that always excites the women of today’s LPGA Tour.
“To see those ladies, hopefully we're doing them proud,” said Brittany Lincicome. “It's just so cool to see them when you come off 18 and give them a little hug and thank them for starting this wonderful organization so many years ago. Obviously having them still come out, it's incredible.”
Stacy Lewis looks forward to greeting the Founders on the course each year. Lewis, who won this event in 2013, also feels this week is perfect for the launch of the new brand Drive On positioning in the company of the ones who came before her.
“I love getting all the generations together and having the kids out there, especially the last day when all the kids come up 18 with Marilynn and Shirley,” said the new mother. “You can have Drive On stories from past generations, see it in the kids, and I just think there are so many stories to tell. It's just a good place to unveil it.”
Defending champion Inbee Park agrees that seeing the Founders is a very meaningful part of the event. “We just realize that we are here because of the Founders,” said Park. “It's great that we get an opportunity like this tournament to give the thanks back to them.”
#DRIVEON – THIS IS FOR EVERY GIRL
In 1950, 13 visionary women formed the LPGA Tour, providing female golfers with the opportunity to pursue their dreams as professional golfers.
Fast forward nearly 70 years and the LPGA Tour has developed into the world’s leading destination for female golfers. But the Tour is so much more than just a group of athletes. It is mothers, daughters, businesswomen, philanthropists and community leaders.
In celebration of the past, present and future of the game, the LPGA Tour today unveiled a new brand campaign - #DriveOn. As the Tour’s Chief Brand and Communications Officer Roberta Bowman said, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it’s a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus, and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.”
“I felt for all these years that I been on the tour the story has never really been told,” said 48-time LPGA Tour winner Nancy Lopez, who participated in today’s brand launch. “I felt really proud about the women that have played this game, the Founders that have given me a chance to be the person that I was on the LPGA Tour, and then still promoting the LPGA Tour and hoping to be a role model for all the little girls that come up and want to be a golfer, a businessperson, somebody special.”
The Drive On campaign initially launched with a 45-second film celebrating LPGA Tour athletes and all young women with a dream to achieve. Filmed on-site in Singapore with Brooke Henderson, So Yeon Ryu, Mo Martin, Anna Nordqvist and Lizette Salas at the 2019 HSBC Women’s World Championship, the film will air during the LPGA broadcasts on Golf Channel this season.
IN HER WORDS - STACY LEWIS ON WHY SHE DRIVES ON
“I think it's changed. I think back to when I first started playing golf and started getting better. The inspiration of watching other athletes and women perform. When I first came on tour watching Karrie Webb and the way she went about her game. I was like, I want to be like that. I want to be like her and the way she just goes about things. And then, gosh, you meet people along the way that inspire you. Now I have a little girl that is the reason I do what I do every day. I want to be the best that I can be, but I want to be the best mom I can be, too. I think my Drive On story is now about her more than it is about golf.”
DESIGNATED HOLE FOR AON RISK REWARD CHALLENGE
The season-long Aon Risk Reward Challenge will highlight the world’s best professional golfers as they tackle the most strategically challenging holes across both the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR schedules. The player from each Tour on top of the Aon leaderboard at the end of the regular season will receive a $1 million prize. The scoring system is identical on both the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR, and players will take their best two scores from each Aon Risk Reward Challenge hole, with the winners having the best average score to par at the end of the season. Players must play a minimum of 40 rounds throughout the season. The Challenge runs across regular season tournaments (29 LPGA Tour; 36 PGA TOUR).
The designated Aon Risk Reward Challenge hole at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup is the 15th, a reachable par 5 which presents good opportunities for birdies and eagles late in the round. A desert area borders the entire left side, and this must be avoided at all costs, but the fairway here is wide enough for the player to be aggressive off the tee. A well-protected green will provide a reasonable birdie chance for those who play the hole strategically. If the wind is favorable, the green light is definitely on here for either birdie or eagle.