The LPGA's stateside kickoff this week in Phoenix has a bit of an interesting twist to it: The entire $1 million purse will go to designated charities. Half will go to the LPGA Foundation, and the other half will go to charities of the players' choice.
As you can imagine, the overriding charity concern these days is Japan, and both Yani Tseng and Paula Creamer have announced that they'll be donating their winnings to charities with ties to Japan relief.
"I was touched when researching charities and I looked at the website of the UNICEF Tap Project," Tseng said. "I have a soft spot in my heart for children, so I hope my play in Phoenix can help this great cause." As Tseng is currently the No. 1 player in the world, the chances of UNICEF getting a few zeroes are good, and that's welcome news indeed.
Over on the PGA side, Wei Under Par reports that Ryuji Imada has committed to donating $1,000 per birdie this weekend to the cause, and made a handwritten appeal to his fellow tour pros to do the same. The note:
As you may know, last week there was an earthquake disaster in my home country of Japan.
To support the many people affected by the earthquake, I've decided to donate $1,000 per birdie I make at this week's event.
I would be thankful for any of my fellow competitors to join me and support with any donations.
I sure hope that the players know about Japan, but you never know. Anyway, nice gesture by Imada, and hopefully others follow suit.