Mountain Ridge Country Club to host '21 LPGA Founder's Cup
Photo Courtesy: Evan Schiller Photography/ Mountain Ridge Country Club
December 20, 2020 – The esteemed Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell has been awarded the LPGA Tour’s $1.5 million Founders Cup tournament, to be played Oct. 7-10, 2021 at the magnificent Donald Ross layout.
The announcement came last Friday when the LPGA Tour announced its official schedule for 2021. The event comes one week following the annual ShopRite LPGA Classic at the Seaview Resort (Bay Course), in Galloway.
“At Mountain Ridge Country Club, women's golf is very important. It’s a fact that one-third of all the rounds played here are by women,” said Mountain Ridge head PGA professional Len Siter. “What could be a better way to celebrate that than by hosting a LPGA tour event?”
The Founders Cup was originally scheduled for March, 2021, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix before being moved to October.
“It came together rather quickly for us. We met with LPGA officials Scott Wood and Ricky Lasky the week of November 15. A month later, we were notified that we would be hosting the Founders Cup,” Siter said.
For the past two decades, Mountain Ridge CC has annually hosted the Val Skinner Foundation LIFE Event (LPGA pros In the Fight to Eradicate breast cancer) and has raised more than $10 million in the process. Each year the LIFE Event acts as one of the largest single-day breast cancer fundraisers in the United States.
Current LPGA Tour professional Marina Alex of nearby Wayne, N.J., spent considerable time playing and taking lessons at Mountain Ridge CC as a junior golfer.
“The excitement is about the LPGA, about giving back to women's golf, and the charity component that accompanies events like this,” Siter acknowledged.
“As a club, we feel that giving back is essential, and we have been a part of that community over the years. The First Tee of Metropolitan New York and other charities have always been welcome,” Siter said.
Mountain Ridge has been a host for many prominent events such as the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship in 2012, the Metropolitan Golf Association Open Championship in 1996, 1985, 2000 and 2020; the MGA’s Ike Stroke-Play Championship in 2007; the New Jersey PGA Section Championship in 1962, 1990, 2007, 2009 and 2017, and the French American Challenge in 1997.
It has hosted numerous NJSGA events through the years such as the Amateur (2005), Women’s Amateur (1971), Mid-Amateur (1993), Junior (1948), and Pre-Senior (1960) championships, as well as the Compher Cup match (2007).
The Ross-designed and highly-regarded course opened in 1931 and has varied little in 90 years. It is known for wide fairways and deceptive greens. A recent restoration has brought many of Ross’s characteristic run-off areas back to their original closely mowed state.
Since its inception in 2011, the Founders Cup has celebrated the 13 women who are credited with the founding of the LPGA Tour including surviving founders, Marlene Bauer Hagge and Shirley Spork.