The LPGA Tour Celebrates Rolex Players Awards
The LPGA Tour held its prestigious Rolex Players Awards on Thursday night at the Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
Lexi Thompson Receives Founders Award
Among the 18 individuals honored, Lexi Thompson stood out as she won the Founders Award from her playing peers. This esteemed award is presented to the player who best exemplifies the LPGA’s spirit, ideals, and values through her behavior and deeds.
“Winning this award is a tremendous honor on its own, but to know that it was voted on by my fellow peers, whom I hold in such high regard, both on and off the golf course, means so much to me,” Thompson expressed gratefully while accepting the award. “I have cherished every single friendship that I have made throughout my career, and I am grateful for each and every one of them.”
Individual Award Winners
Alongside Thompson, several other outstanding individuals were recognized for their remarkable achievements:
- Jane Park received the Heather Farr Perseverance Award for demonstrating determination, perseverance, and spirit in fulfilling her goals. Park’s dedication to her daughter, Grace Godfrey, who experienced undiagnosed epileptic seizures, and her advocacy for disability and epilepsy awareness were truly inspiring.
- Hae Ran Ryu earned the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year honors, becoming the sixth player from Korea since 2015 to achieve this prestigious award.
- Lilia Vu, a four-time LPGA winner this season, was presented with the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award for her outstanding performance in all five major championships. Vu became the first American since 1999 to win two majors in a single season.
- Jim Fitterling, the Dow Chairman and CEO, received the Commissioners Award for his instrumental role in the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational and his significant contributions to furthering women’s golf.
- Sheri Hayes was honored with the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, recognizing her significant contributions to golf education and her embodiment of Ellen Griffin’s love and dedication.
Record-Breaking First-Time Winners
The LPGA also celebrated the remarkable achievements of 12 first-time winners in the 2023 season. This record-breaking number surpassed the previous record of 11 set in 1995 and 2022. The first-time winners included Lilia Vu, Ruoning Yin, Grace Kim, Rose Zhang, Allisen Corpuz, Linn Grant, Elizabeth Szokol, Alexa Pano, Megan Khang, Chanettee Wannasaen, Hae Ran Ryu, and Angel Yin.
As the CME Group Tour Championship concludes on Sunday, two highly anticipated awards remain to be announced: the Rolex Player of the Year and the Vare Trophy.