Founders Cup - a huge success for Mike Whan
The RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup is set to grab the headlines this week due to a strong field, however, most of the credit to hold the second edition of the tournament certainly goes to Mike Whan.
Mike Whan, who is Commissioner of the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association), is regarded as the most influential character in women’s golf.
His profile boasts several achievements. However, Whan’s efforts to stage the Founders Cup top the list of his achievements.
The Cup is going to be played this week at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge’s Wildfire Golf Club, with a fearsome field comprising big names on the LPGA.
The LPGA, which has been making all-out efforts to stage events according to the set standards and procedures, is being praised by veteran players and observers.
Although Whan has managed to remove most of the hurdles in staging tournaments, there had been some loopholes that hampered the progress of the Tour.
The Cup is going to see plenty of players who are known to attract the spectators. Experts have said that the competitive field is what is making this event more exciting than most of the other tournaments on the LPGA.
The current world number one, Yani Tseng, will be shining at Phoenix, with an aim to cut her rivals down to size.
Tseng has maintained her top position, which signals that the Founder Cup is set to see a nerve-racking battle.
Another key player is Karrie Webb of Australia. Webb won the inaugural Founders Cup last year and has vowed to defend her title.
Karrie may face some trouble recording good scores on the leaderboard, given the competitiveness of the roster.
The Founders Cup was designed to honour the founding fathers of women’s golf, particularly of the LPGA.
According to the details, some of these founding fathers will be showing up at Phoenix to witness the players prove their worth on the course.
Although the Cup was launched to raise money for charity and the last edition gave all the funds for the cause, the LPGA and the event’s officials have made some changes.
This year, players will be able to grab a substantial portion of the entire purse, i.e. $1.5 million.
LPGA veteran Karen Stupples said that players, last year, grouched about not getting money for their performance.
“We actually got quite a bit of (criticism) for going and playing in a tournament with no purse last year,” she said.
However, she said, the officials have decided to keep the players involved this year by awarding them prize money.