After an opening-round 69, Rolex Rankings No. 5 Cristie Kerr is poised to make a run at the top $200,000 charitable prize at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup this weekend. The former No. 1 currently sits three back of leader Angela Stanford in the play for charity event at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa. Kerr will split her potential proceedings between two causes close to her heart – Birdies for Breast Cancer and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Foundation. Kerr will receive the Muhammad Ali Award for Sport Achievement at the star-studded Celebrity Fight Night charity gala Saturday after her round at the JW Marriot Desert Ridge Resort and Spa.
"Cristie not only exemplifies what being a true champion is on the course, but she consistently portrays what Muhammad Ali stands for in his fight against Parkinson's disease with her extraordinary heart off the course,” remarked Celebrity Fight Night founder Jimmy Walker.
Kerr’s charitable efforts off the course are well known. Inspired by her mother Linda, a breast cancer survivor, Kerr established Birdies for Breast Cancer to raise funds and awareness to eradicate the disease. In 2010, Kerr cut the ribbon on the Cristie Kerr Women’s Health Center at the Jersey Medical Center in Jersey City, N.J. The state-of-the-art facility houses digital mammography machines and a breast MRI, the only one of its kind in Hudson County.
Several other players in the field at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup are playing for charities inspired by their mothers. Morgan Pressel is teeing it up for the Morgan Pressel Foundation which she established in honor of her mother Kathryn Krickstein Pressel. Pressel raised more than $500,000 at the Morgan & Friends Fight Cancer charity tournament in January. Beth Bader is playing for the Susan L. Bader Foundation of Hope which Bader and her sister started after their mother Susan lost her battle with pancreatic cancer, and Reilley Rankin hopes a top-10 finish will make an impact on the Florida Hospital Foundation. Rankin’s mother, who currently resides in Hilton Head, was treated for cancer at the hospital last year.
The RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup will donate its entire $1 million purse to charity, with $500,000 going to The LPGA Foundation and its LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program and $500,000 going to the top-10 finishers’ designated charities.
RR Donnelley is also donating $100 for every birdie and $500 for every eagle posted on holes 15-18, aka the “Japan Relief Zone” to benefit the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Two eagles and 114 birdies were posted in round one, making the first day total $12,400.
Golf Channel will provide live coverage of the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup Saturday (6:30-9:00pm ET) and Sunday (7:00-9:00pm ET).