The Founders Cup was established in 2011 as a tribute to the thirteen legendary founders of the LPGA: Alice Bauer, Patty Berg, Bettye Danoff, Helen Detweiler, Marlene Bauer Hagge, Helen Hicks, Opal Hill, Betty Jameson, Sally Sessions, Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork, Louise Suggs and Babe Didriksen Zaharias.
UPDATE: The JTBC Founders Cup now is the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. Visit the updated page.
The tournament started amid controversy over its unique format. In 2011, the players were not paid and the entire purse went to charity. Players did receive “virtual” earnings that qualified them on the LPGA’s official money list.
It probably wasn’t the best idea. The LPGA at the time was short on both tournaments and opportunities for the players to earn income and the notion of playing for free did not sit well with many.
In 2012, the tournament expanded from three days to four and real cash payouts were begun.
In 2013, JTBC replaced R.R. Donnelley as sponsor of the LPGA’s Founder’s Cup. In 2017, the title sponsor is Bank of Hope.
The tournament is played at the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. The Arnold Palmer design is a 6,583 yard par 72.
A list of past winners follows:
|Year||Champion||Country||Score||Purse ($)||Winner’s share|
|2016||Kim Sei-young||South Korea||261 (–27)||1,500,000||225,000|
|2015||Kim Hyo-Joo||South Korea||267 (–21)||1,500,000||225,000|
|2014||Karrie Webb||Australia||269 (–19)||1,500,000||225,000|
|2013||Stacey Lewis||United States||265 (–23)||1,500,000||225,000|
|2012||Yani Tseng||Taiwan||270 (–18)||1,500,000||225,000|
|2011||Karrie Webb||Australia||204 (–12)||1,000,000||200,000|