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
Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.