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LPGA Founders Cup to honor more pioneers

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The RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup will again embrace the tour’s history in a special way at Marriott’s Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix through this week’s event.

The 13 founders who formed the tour 62 years ago will be honored in giant photographs once more at the tournament’s Walk of Fame between the ninth and 18th greens. Three of the original founders will attend with a special stage alongside the 18th green allowing fans and players to see them. Founders Louise Suggs, Marilynn Smith and Shirley Spork are attending this week.

The event’s going beyond founders this year to also honor other pioneers, players who weren’t there in that first year, but who helped grow the tour in its early years. Peggy Kirk Bell, Betsy Rawls, Mickey Wright and Barb Romack are being honored this week.

“The generation of veteran players when I first came on tour had that real sense of pride in the tour and where they'd come from and what they'd established and they really made a big effort to pass that on,” RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup defending champion Karrie Webb said. “It is up to players like myself to try and emphasize how important it is, the history, just so that it does carry on. I think that's only going to help our tour grow because if we can get the girls to believe in something that was created from nothing and to what it is today, then they'll want to make it better when they leave as well.”