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The LPGA's stateside kickoff this week in Phoenix has a bit of an interesting twist to it: the entire $1 million purse will go to designated charities. Half will go to the LPGA Foundation, and the other half will go to charities of the players' choice.

As you can imagine, the overriding charity concern these days is Japan, and both Yani Tseng and Paula Creamer have announced that they'll be donating their winnings to charities with ties to Japan relief.

"I was touched when researching charities and I looked at the website of the UNICEF Tap Project," Tseng said. "I have a soft spot in my heart for children, so I hope my play in Phoenix can help this great cause." As Tseng is currently the No. 1 player in the world, the chances of UNICEF getting a few zeroes are good, and that's welcome news indeed.

Over on the PGA side, Wei Under Par reports thatRyuji Imada has committed to donating $1,000 per birdie this weekend to the cause, and made a handwritten appeal to his fellow tour pros to do the same. The note:

Dear Players,
As you may know, last week there was an earthquake disaster in my home country of Japan. To support the many people affected by the earthquake, I've decided to donate $1,000 per birdie I make at this week's event. I would be thankful for any of my fellow competitors to join me and support with any donations.
Thanks,
Ryuji Imada

I sure hope that the players know about Japan, but you never know. Anyway, nice gesture by Imada, and hopefully others follow suit.



LPGA kicks off American swing this week in Phoenix

The LPGA has already knocked out two events in 2011, but you might not have caught much of the action, because both were across the pond. Now, the tour heads to the States, with the first event being unique, with all thewinnings headed to charity. It's the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, and the field this week in Phoenix is stacked. But with the season officially kicking off this week, we figured we'd give you a preview of what's to come this year.

Player of the Year: Yani Tseng -- There really isn't a choice here other than Tseng, who has already won four professional events in 2011, including the Honda LPGA Thailand at the end of February. She's just 22, but has already won a major, seems to be the next star to dominate the LPGA, and is already doing her good deed of the year; all her winnings from this week will go to children in Japan affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami.

American Player of the Year: Michelle Wie -- The choices in this category seem to grow yearly, with Paula Creamer, Christina Kim and Cristie Kerr all making arguments, but it seems Wie is finally set to start winning on a regular basis. She has a win in each of her last two seasons, and as her stint at Stanford wraps up (she tweeted on Tuesday that school should be done by next March), it seems Wie is ready to focus 100 percent on golf, and if she does that, the wins will start piling up.

Name you will know by the end of the season - Belen Mozo -- It never hurts when the LPGA is blessed with a four-time All-American out of USC that is both beautiful and really talented. Mozo (pictured) is the type of girl that can turn the golf world upside down, and has already won a professional event this year in Spain after a final round 67 jumped her to a one-shot victory.

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