The JTBC Founders Cup was created as a way for the LPGA and its current players to honour the past – most notably the 13 original Founders of the LPGA who in 1950 organized the LPGA and the Pioneers who helped bring the LPGA to where it is today. Additionally, through the JTBC Founders Cup, the LPGA looks to the future of the game with several Girls Golf events taking place during the week. Since its inception, the tournament has helped raise more than US$2 million for the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program.
In the five years of the event some of the premier names in golf have captured victories including our own Karrie Webb. Karrie has always been one of the most ardent supporters of honouring the history of the LPGA and its 13 Founders, and it was perfectly fitting that she took out the inaugural Founder’s Cup title in 2011 and again lifted the trophy in 2014 to become the first two-time winner of the event.
The LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member fired a tournament course-record 9-under 63 in the final round to capture a one-shot victory, coming from six shots back to defeat third-round leader Lydia Ko and four other players who finished at 18-under-par. The win was Webb’s 41st career LPGA Tour victory, which moved her into a tie for 10th on the LPGA’s all-time win list with Founder Babe Zaharias.
Following her victory in 2014, Webb capped off the special day by donating $50,000 of her $225,000 winner’s check - $25,000 to LPGA-USGA Girls Golf and $25,000 to “The Founders” film, a documentary that will detail the story of the LPGA’s 13 Founders.
Two weeks ago at the HSBC Champions Trophy in Singapore Webb fired a final round 7 under par 65 which was her best round on the LPGA Tour since her 3rd round 64 at The North Texas Shootout last April. Webb also finished 3rd at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open earlier in the year commenting that her ball striking had been the best it had been in several years.
Webb’s focus for the past eight years has been representing Australia at the Rio Olympics in August this year which is almost a foregone conclusion, and she has already shown this season that her career is far from finished.
Jan Stephenson amongst LPGA Pioneers announced
Each year, the JTBC Founders Cup celebrates “Pioneers” of the LPGA, honouring their trailblazing spirit as well as their exemplary participation in the development and advancement of the LPGA Tour and women’s golf. This year our own Jan Stephenson, along with Sandra Haynie and Shirley Englehorn will be honoured as Pioneers during the week of the event at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona.
Stephenson who like Webb is a Life member of the ALPG won 16 LPGA events including three major championships in her career, and is still a regular competitor on the LPGA Legends Tour.
Other Australians in the field this week are 19year old superstar Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Kemp and Sarah Jane Smith.
The 2016 JTBC Founders Cup will be broadcast live in Australia starting on Friday morning on Fox Sports 4 from 9am AEDST.
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