LPGA Founders Cup

The best of the LPGA Tour will descend upon Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa for the seventh edition of the LPGA Founders Cup, March 14-19, 2017
The LPGA Founders Cup, which honors the LPGA’s strong foundation and bright future, was established in 2011 to honor the 13 original Founders of the LPGA, and to help provide a future for the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program, which has received more than $3 million from tournament proceeds.
Winners of the LPGA Founders Cup have been a who’s who of the LPGA’s elite with Karrie Webb, Yani Tseng, and Stacy Lewis having captured the title.
2017 promises to be another exciting year as fans can witness the best of today's players, while also catching a glimpse of the past as LPGA Founders Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Marlene Hagge and LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame members, Betsy King, Patty Sheehan, Nancy Lopez and Pat Bradley have made special appearances at the LPGA Founders Cup over the years.

Race to the CME Globe: 500 Points

Format: 72 holes

Purse: $1,500,000

Par: 72

History: This is the 7th year for the event.

Yardage: 6,538

Bank of Hope, the largest Korean-American bank in the United States, will serve as the title sponsor for the newly renamed Bank of Hope Founders Cup the LPGA. The event is held at Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

“I couldn’t be more excited to call this tournament the Bank of Hope Founders Cup,” said LPGA commissioner Mike Whan. “The Founders Cup was developed to remember, and reinforce, the philosophy the LPGA Founders had of leaving the game better for the next generation of female golfers.  When we think of the Founders Cup we think of giving “hope” and opportunities for young women. So to be partnered with Bank of Hope and to have them join our JTBC and LPGA family is pretty special.”

Bank of Hope is the first and only super regional Korean-American bank in the United States with more than $13 billion in total assets. Formed through the merger of the top two commercial lenders in the market, Bank of Hope is headquartered in Los Angeles and serves a multi-ethnic population of customers across the nation.

“Inspired by the purpose that LPGA Founders had for women’s golf, we felt the need to contribute more to our community,” said President and CEO of Bank of Hope Kevin S. Kim. “We are proud to be the only Korean-American company sponsoring a tournament on the LPGA Tour. The Bank of Hope looks forward to continuing our business partnership with JTBC and the LPGA.”

Teaming up with JTBC, Bank of Hope has agreed to a three-year deal as title sponsor of the event. The Bank of Hope Founders Cup, which will be played March 14-19, 2017, will be broadcast in 151 nations across the globe, where some 227 million households will watch.

“The Founders Cup is a tournament of personal attachment,” JTBC President and CEO Hong Jeong-do said. “I am confident this tournament will further prosper as a result of our partnership with the Bank of Hope. JTBC will provide its fullest support to ensure this tournament is a success.”

The event will feature a full field of LPGA players who will continue to compete for a $1.5 million purse. In 2016, a record performance by 2015 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Sei Young Kim, earned her a fourth title on the LPGA Tour. Kim finished at 27-under par, matching the LPGA’s low 72-hole scoring record in relation to par set by Annika Sorenstam in 2001. Kim also set a new tournament scoring record with the help of a final-round 10-under par, 62 to win by five-strokes over Lydia Ko.

The Bank of Hope Founders Cup was created in 2011 to honor the 13 women who started the LPGA in 1950. Today the Bank of Hope Founders Cup has a strong charitable component that speaks to its roots, helping to raise more than $3 million for the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program. The money has helped bring the program to new markets and expand the scope in existing markets.