A pathway into the richest field in women’s professional golf would be the ultimate consolation prize from this weekend’s historic tournament in the Motor City.
The 13 women competing in the inaugural John Shippen Invitational this weekend in Detroit will be vying for two sponsor’s exemptions on the LPGA Tour. Earlier this month, Cognizant, a New Jersey-based professional services company specializing in digitizing products and modernizing technology infrastructures, announced that it will provide a sponsors’ exemption to the 2021 Cognizant Founders Cup.
The second and third place teams at the John Shippen Invitational will be broken up into individuals and play a three-hole shoot-out. The person with the lowest score will tee off at the Founders Cup this fall.
“We are excited that a talented player from The John Shippen Shoot-Out will earn a berth in the 2021 Cognizant Founders Cup and compete against the best professional golfers in the world from the LPGA, said Cognizant Founders Cup Tournament director Scott Wood in a statement. “This historic tournament is a celebration of the LPGA’s founders who paved the way for girls and women to succeed in the game of golf, while also serving as an important platform to change the face of golf by making the sport more accessible and inclusive.”
Cognizant has increased its presence in the golf world this year. In February, the company announced that it will sponsor the tournament that will be held at the Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, New Jersey, from Oct. 7-10.
The tournament was created in 2011 to celebrate the 13 founders of the LPGA Tour. The first nine editions were played in Phoenix, but the 2021 edition will be played 20 miles from Cognizant’s headquarters.
“We are incredibly honored to be part of The John Shippen Shoot-Out at its inauguration,” said Cognizant’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion Shameka Young, in a statement. “This influential event promises to raise recognition for Black female golfers and provide an additional on-ramp to qualifying for an LPGA Tour tournament. Cognizant is committed to furthering inclusivity and building on our sponsorship of the Cognizant Founders Cup. This partnership marks another milestone in our journey.”
The John Shippen Invitational will award four sponsor’s exemptions to the LPGA Tour and PGA Tours for the 34 entrants teeing off at the Detroit Golf Club.