Rankin, Caponi, Palmer named Founders honorees

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Golf Channel analyst Judy Rankin won 26 events, two player of the year awards, three Vare trophies and two money titles in her LPGA career. (Getty Images)

Judy Rankin, Donna Caponi and Sandra Palmer will be this year’s special honorees when the JTBC Founders Cup begins next week in Phoenix.

LPGA founders and pioneers are celebrated in the fifth annual event.

Rankin, Caponi and Palmer combined to win 69 LPGA titles, most of them in the ‘70s.

Rankin won 26 LPGA titles, two Rolex Player of the Year awards, three Vare trophies for low scoring average and two money titles. Caponi won 24 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. Palmer won 19 LPGA titles, two of them majors.

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan created the LPGA Founders Cup in 2011 as a tournament focused on celebrating the tour’s long history while also supporting its future. The LPGA got its start in 1950. The Founders Cup benefits LPGA-USGA Girls Golf. All 13 of the LPGA founders were honored the first year of the event with special honorees chosen annually after.

Here’s a list of past honorees:

2014 - Kathy Whitworth, Renee Powell
2013 - Carol Mann, JoAnne Carner
2012 - Mickey Wright, Betsy Rawls, Barbara Romack, Peggy Kirk Bell