Industry News

Intersport announces field of players committed to compete in ‘The John Shippen Shoot-Out presented by Cognizant’ 

The John Shippen Shoot-Out presented by Cognizant invites the nation’s top black female professional and amateur golfers to compete May 9 at Mountain Ridge Country Club; The field will compete for an exemption into the LPGA Tour’s Cognizant Founder’s Cup

DETROIT (April 28, 2022) – 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-May 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.” 

 Name / Age / Status / College                                                                               
 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. 

 Following THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out Presented by Cognizant, THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational women’s tournament will take place June 1 -2 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of the Meijer LPGA Classic. The winner of the event will earn an exemption into the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give (June 16–19), as well as an exemption into the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, the LPGA tournament scheduled for July 13– 16 in Midland, Michigan.  

The men’s field of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational presented by Rocket Mortgage will compete in a 36-hole stroke play competition at Detroit Golf Club July 23–24, and the winner will once again receive an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic (July 28-31). 

For updated information on THE JOHN SHIPPEN, please visit follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@TheJohnShippen) and on Twitter (@TheJShippen). For information about sponsorship opportunities or how to get involved, email us at  

About Intersport 
Since 1985, Intersport has been an award-winning innovator and leader in the creation of sports, lifestyle, culinary and entertainment-based marketing platforms. With expertise in Sponsorship Consulting, Experiential Marketing, Hospitality, Customer Engagement, Content Marketing, Productions and Sports Properties, this Chicago-based Marketing & Media Solutions Company helps their clients to create ideas, content and experiences that attract and engage passionate audiences. To learn more about Intersport, visit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. 

About Woods & Watts Effect 
Woods & Watts Effect is an equity and inclusion consulting firm of transformation engineers, co-founded by Sommer Woods and Michele Lewis Watts, Ph.D. They are a solutions-driven team that adeptly designs programs that assess a company’s strengths and areas for improvement relative to inclusion and social equity. Woods & Watts Effect is innovative in their thinking, their engagement and their execution. Through a bold, non-traditional and engaging approach, they produce viable and actionable solutions for sustainable change. More information is available at  

About Rocket Mortgage    
Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender and part of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), enables the American Dream of homeownership and financial freedom through its obsession with an industry-leading, digital-driven client experience. In late 2015, it introduced the first fully digital, completely online mortgage experience. Rocket Mortgage closed $351 billion dollars of mortgage volume across all 50 states in 2021.   

Rocket Mortgage moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. Today, Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Companies employ 26,000 full-time team members nationwide. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix. Rocket Mortgage ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction in mortgage servicing by J.D. Power for the past eight straight years, 2014 – 2021.   

Rocket Companies, Rocket Mortgage’s parent company, ranked #5 on Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2021 and has placed in the top third of the list for 18 consecutive years.   

For more information and company news visit 

About Cognizant  
Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH) engineers modern businesses. We help our clients modernize technology, reimagine processes and transform experiences so they can stay ahead in our fast-changing world. Cognizant works to advance diversity and inclusion in its business and beyond, including its partnership with the LPGA Tour, which aims to make sports more inclusive at all levels across the globe. Together, we’re improving everyday life. See how at or @cognizant.  

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