Mountain Ridge Country Club in North Jersey will host the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup, the … [+]
After 10 years in Phoenix, the LPGA Founders Cup is starting a new chapter at the Mountain Ridge Country Club outside of New York City, thanks to the support of a title sponsor who is headlong into men’s and women’s golf.
At the beginning of the year, Cognizant Technology Solutions, one of the world’s leading professional service companies, signed itself as title partner of the Founders Cup – which honors the 13 women founders who started the leading professional women’s tour in golf – and as global partner of the Presidents Cup every two years team competition of men.
Headquartered in nearby Teaneck, New Jersey, Cognizant quickly demonstrated its commitment by doubling the previous Founders Cup prize pool to $ 3 million, the highest on the LPGA Tour outside of the majors and the Tour Championship.
“You are very committed. You’re doing it for the right reason. They want to make a difference, ”Founders Cup tournament director Scott Wood said of Cognizant during a recent tour of the Donald Ross-designed Mountain Ridge facility. “They want to do their part to level the playing field as much as possible. When we spoke to them for the first time last year, they said, “We’re not here to change anything. We want you to do your tournament. We want to have a financial impact on your players. ‘
“The good thing is that it will push others,” added Wood. “There is more pressure on CEOs and CMOs in the marketplace that if I’m serious, I have to increase the tournament prize pool.”
Cognizant, one of the world’s leading service companies, signed up as a title this year … [+]
With golf’s strong global brand awareness and the high percentage of Cognizant customers who enjoy the game, pursuing high-level golf sponsorship was “a breeze,” said Gaurav Chand, Cognizant’s chief marketing officer. Chand was familiar with the golf industry, having previously held a marketing role as an executive at Dell, which sponsored a world golf championship tournament.
“You were very strategic. You have risen enough that people will notice who Cognizant is, ”said Wood.
The look and feel of the Mountain Ridge tournament experience will surely add to that, as Wood noted that the Founders Cup was starting to grow out of the previous Arizona property. Despite a slightly smaller footprint at the North Jersey Club, Wood and his team had more flexibility. The Drive On Pavilion behind the 9th green and near the entrance to the square is the largest hospitality area ever on the LPGA Tour. The setup around the 18th green – with hospitality, merchandise, and food – is equally impressive, and a lower level of the driving range below will feature a classroom where fans can get free 10-minute lessons from LPGA professionals Thursday through Sunday can .
“18 and 9 will look very impressive, but we’ll let the golf course shine for the rest. Mountain Ridge is beautiful, ”said Wood. “After going to Gleneagles (in Scotland) for the Solheim Cup, the builds were minimal and people loved it.”
The clubhouse in Mountain Ridge CC, which after 10 years is the new venue for the Founders Cup … [+]
Indeed, the partnership between Cognizant and the LPGA appears to be successful. Cognizant – which employs 105,000 women worldwide – not only sponsored a notable event in the backyard of their global headquarters, they found an organization with similar values that supports equality and diversity.
When former LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan launched the Founders Cup in 2010, the aim was to honor the past, celebrate the present, and promote the future of women’s golf. With Cognizant as the event’s new partner, this week will honor the past and celebrate the present. And the future definitely looks bright.
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