Tournament invites the nation’s top black female professional & amateur golfers to compete May 9 at Mountain Ridge CC 

DETROIT  – Intersport announced today the players committed to compete in THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-out Presented by Cognizant. THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out Presented by Cognizant is an 18-hole stroke play competition for Black women golfers taking place at Mountain Ridge Country Club in New Jersey on May 9. 

The winner of the event will be awarded an exemption into this year’s LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup being held May 12-15 in Clifton, N.J. as part of Cognizant’s continued commitment to supporting equal opportunity and diversity in the game of golf and beyond. 

“It’s exciting to see such a diverse and accomplished group of Black female golfers commit to participate in THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out,” said Shameka Young, Vice President and Global Head, Diversity and Inclusion at Cognizant. “We’re proud to support the event for a second year as we continue our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion both inside and outside of the workplace. We can’t wait to see how the Shoot-Out unfolds this year.” 

THE JOHN SHIPPEN, designed to showcase Black amateur and professional golfers, is named after John Shippen, Jr., who was the first American-born golf professional and also the country’s first Black golf professional. Shippen was bestowed PGA of America membership posthumously in 2009. 

To ensure that any financial barriers are removed, THE JOHN SHIPPEN will cover all travel costs (airfare and hotel) for participating players. 

“Intersport is proud to announce that we continue to attract highly talented Black golfers from around the country to play in our event,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Vice President of Intersport and Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

“We are excited to expand JOHN SHIPPEN to the New Jersey market and provide an additional platform on which these deserving players will compete, in order to impact the imbalance of access, opportunities and equity for Black golfers that has long existed in the golf industry.” 

WOMEN’S FIELD  

 SADENA PARKS (31) – Professional (Washington)                                       

– Two Professional Wins

– 2015-2018 LPGA Tour Player

– Fifth African American Woman to earn her LPGA Tour Card  

ALLYN STEPHENS (18) – Amateur (Texas A&M signee) 

– 2021 THE JOHN SHIPPEN participant 

– 2021 AJGA Shreveport Junior Champion 

– Epson Tour start at Circling Raven Championship 

LAKAREBER ABE (26) – Professional (Alabama)                               

– Current LPGA EPSON Tour Member

– Third Team WGCA All-American

– Second Team All SEC

BREANNE JONES(25) – Professional (UC Irvine) 

– 2021 THE JOHN SHIPPEN participant 

– Three Top 20 finishes on Cactus Tour 

– Two Top 5 finishes on WAPT 

AMBER KUYKENDALL (24) – Professional (Texas Southern)           

– 2021 THE JOHN SHIPPEN participant

– Three Time First Team All SWAC

– Five Top 25 finishes on WAPT       

MICAA THOMAS (27) – Professional (Savannah College of Art and Design) 

– Five East Coast Women’s All-Pro Tour starts 

– Four National Women’s Golf Association starts 

– 2022 Jim Thorpe Invitational  

TIANA JONES (30) – Professional (South Carolina State) 

– 2022 Top 10 Finish PGA Winter Series  

– PGM Graduate University of Maryland Eastern Shore

– 7th African American female to obtain PGA Membership

JADE SANDERS (23) – Professional (Alabama State) 

– 2022 Jim Thorpe Invitational – T25 

– 2021 Rene Powell WIG Tournament – Top 5 

– 2021 SWAC – Individual Medalist            

Intersport collaborated with Woods and Watts Effect to design THE JOHN SHIPPEN as a vehicle to fundamentally increase diversity in golf and to create opportunities for young men and women of color in sports on a national scale.  

“We are excited for the women who have been invited and have accepted our invitation, to participate in THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out Presented by Cognizant, said Sommer Woods, Co-Founder of Woods and Watts Effect, Tournament Lead for THE JOHN SHIPPEN and Volunteer Vice Chair of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

“Our hope is that the expansion of THE JOHN SHIPPEN provides them with an opportunity to advance their golf careers in a way that has previously not existed for them.” 

Amari Avery won the inaugural THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out Presented by Cognizant last year with a score of 1-under-par. 

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