Jane Park has been awarded the Heather Farr Perseverance Award and Lexi Thompson has won the Founders Award.
Both players, who were chosen and voted on by LPGA Membership, will accept their respective awards at the LPGA Tour’s season finale, the CME Group Tour Championship, during the 2023 Rolex LPGA Awards on 16 November.
LPGA Tour veteran Jane Park will receive the 2023 Heather Farr Perseverance Award, which honours an LPGA Tour player who, through her hard work, dedication and love of the game of golf, has demonstrated determination, perseverance and spirit in fulfilling her goals as a player. This past July, Park returned to competition at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational for the first time since the sudden pause in her playing career. While Park was playing in the 2021 Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America, her then 10-month-old daughter, Grace Godfrey, experienced a series of undiagnosed epileptic seizures. Since then, Park has become Grace’s full-time caregiver, stepping away from professional golf and becoming an advocate for disability and epilepsy awareness alongside her husband and professional caddie, Pete Godfrey.
The Heather Farr Perseverance Award
Established in 1994, the Heather Farr Perseverance Award honours the LPGA Tour player who died on Nov. 20, 1993, following a four-and-a-half-year battle with breast cancer. Previous winners of this award include Farr, Lorie Kane, Nancy Scranton, Brandi Burton, Kris Tschetter, Kim Williams, Beth Daniel, Se Ri Pak, Leta Lindley, Sophie Gustafson, Lisa Ferrero, Stephanie Meadow, Ariya Jutanugarn, Tiffany Joh, Jessica Korda, Suzann Pettersen, Madelene Sagstrom and Elizabeth Nagel.
“It’s truly my honor to be mentioned in the same breath as legendary players like Se Ri Pak, Lorena Ochoa, Beth Daniel, and of course, my dear friend, Tiffany Joh,” said Park. “I want to thank my peers for continuing to think of us, being so inclusive to me and continuing to allow our family to be a part of this wonderful organisation.”
The Founders Award
Eleven-time LPGA Tour winner Lexi Thompson will be honoured as the 2023 Founders Award recipient, which is given to an LPGA Member who, in the opinion of her playing peers, best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and values of the LPGA through her behaviour and deeds. Both an LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Ambassador and a PGA Jr. League Ambassador, Thompson can always be seen signing autographs and interacting with fans after her rounds, with a continued goal of inspiring future generations on and off the golf course. Thompson has worked with multiple charities throughout her playing career, including The Morgan Pressel Foundation and SEAL Legacy Foundation, and most recently shined as a sponsor’s exemption at the Shriners Children’s Open on the PGA Tour, taking part in initiatives with patients from Shriners Children’s Hospital throughout the week.
Established in 1986, previous recipients include Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley, Betsy King, Juli Inkster, Lorena Ochoa, Chella Choi, Karrie Webb, So Yeon Ryu, Brooke Henderson, Lydia Ko and In Gee Chun.
"It means the world to me, not only to receive the award but just to have the respect of my fellow players out there. And just showing that there's more to it than the golf side of things,” said Thompson, who also won the 2017 Race to CME Globe and Vare Trophy. “It's a matter of caring for the sponsors, your fellow competitors and just giving back to the game instead of all about winning and performing well. That's what means the most to me."
The 2023 Rolex LPGA Awards will be live-streamed on 16 November on LPGA.com and the LPGA’s Facebook page.