Song embodies spirt of giving at LPGA Founders Cup

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2011, 3:04 am
RR Donnelley LPGA Founders CupPHOENIX – Golf can seem like such a solitary sport.

A tour pro protecting a one-shot lead on a Sunday can feel like he or she is on an island.

It’s not that way for Jennifer Song.

Somebody else’s hopes and dreams also ride on every shot she hits.

Song made sure of that in an extraordinary commitment to making her world a better place.

When Song turned pro last year, she decided that she would give one-third of her winnings each tournament to a local children’s charity within the community she was playing.

Jennifer Song
Jennifer Song is a rookie on the 2011 LPGA. (Getty Images)
“I look at it as being part of a team,” Song said. “I have to do well for the team.

“The better I play, the more I can win for the charity. That’s a huge motivation to me.”

That makes this week’s RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup the perfect event for Song. The 21-year-old rookie embodies the spirit of this inaugural tournament, the U.S. start to the 2011 LPGA schedule. The entire $1 million purse this week will be donated to charity.

“I was super excited about this,” Song said. “All players want to give back something, and this is a wonderful opportunity. This is the perfect tournament to do that.”

A lot of the buzz at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is over who’s playing for whom this week.

With Japan devastated by earthquakes and tsunamis, this event has suddenly taken on another dimension.

“We’re hearing a lot of players registering who want to help the effort in Japan,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said.

Before teeing it up, all 134 players in the Founders Cup will declare a charity that they’re playing for.

Yani Tseng, the No. 1 player in the world, announced Wednesday that she will play for the children of Japan through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Paula Creamer announced that she also will play for relief efforts for the people of Japan.

The Founders Cup $1 million purse will be split with $500,000 going to LPGA-USGA Girls Golf and $500,000 to designated player charities.

The champion will get to steer $200,000 to the charity or charities of her choice. The second-place finisher similarly steers $100,000, third place $55,000 with donations being awarded to the designated charities of everyone finishing in the top 10.

Though LPGA pros won’t collect paychecks, they will get credit for official money. They’ll also earn points toward the Rolex World Rankings, Rolex Player of the Year, Rolex Rookie of the Year and the Solheim Cup.

Song, 21, has the game to change a lot of lives. She won the U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links in 2009 and was an All-American at USC. She won her first event as a pro last summer, claiming the Tate & Lyle Players Championship on the Duramed Futures Tour in Decatur, Ill. She donated a third of her check, nearly $2,000, to the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Decatur and the city’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

In Phoenix, Song is playing for Arizona Quest for Kids, a program designed to help at-risk youth go to college. A dozen students in the program met with Song Wednesday and watched her hit balls on the driving range.

“Jennifer is showing our kids what’s possible,” said Dana Carroll, executive director of Arizona Quest for Kids.

Arizona Quest for Kids was founded by David Highmark, managing director of Northern Trust’s professional athlete division. He’s part of Song’s management team and told Song he had the perfect children’s charity for her this week. After moving to Arizona, Highmark was moved learning that the dropout rate in the state ranks among the highest in the nation. Highmark said he “exported” the Quest for Kids idea from Naples, Fla., where he used to live. Twelve years later, Arizona Quest for Kids boasts that 91 percent of its students attend college.

Song, a dual citizen of the United States and South Korea, said her parents, Muscok and Jee Yeon, inspired her desire to give one-third of her winnings.

“I feel like I was blessed,” Song said. “I was born in a family that was able to support me. My parents gave me dreams, and they allowed me to dream. I just thought kids who don’t have that, they need somebody to help them get that start.”

Song and her LPGA sisters are all about giving this week.

Follow Randall Mell on Twitter @RandallMell
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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.