Industry News

Defending champion Paige Crawford set to headline elite field for The John Shippen Cognizant Cup

Winner of the May 6 event at Upper Montclair (N.J.) Country Club will earn an exemption into the LPGA Tour’s Cognizant Founders Cup

DETROIT and CLIFTON, N.J. (April 17, 2024) – Defending champion Paige Crawford headlines the 2024 field for THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup, set to be contested for the fourth straight year when the event returns to Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, N.J. on May 6.

Crawford will join an elite seven-player field of top professional and amateur Black female golfers announced today by tournament organizer Intersport, aiming to win the event for the second straight year and secure an exemption into the LPGA Tour’s Cognizant Founders Cup later that week (May 9-12).

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup marks a continuation of Cognizant’s commitment to supporting equal opportunity and diversity in the game of golf and beyond. Past winners of the 18-hole stroke play competition include Crawford (2023), Lakareber Abe (2022) and Amari Avery (2021).

"We are looking forward to another terrific competition in THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup and will be eager to watch the winner represent so many talented Black women by playing on the LPGA Tour later that week,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Vice President of Intersport. “We appreciate the ongoing support of our dedicated partners at Cognizant in providing this tournament exemption and continuing to support our mission to improve access and opportunities for Black amateur and professional golfers.”

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup (formerly THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out Presented by Cognizant) began as a companion event of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational in Detroit. The event was renamed and moved to Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J, as a standalone competition in 2022, and settled at Montclair Country Club in Clifton, N.J. last year.

“Both the LPGA and Cognizant share similar values and a commitment to diversity and inclusion and identifying opportunities to create impact that extends far beyond our workplaces,” said Shameka Young, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Cognizant. “We are proud to once again sponsor THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup and the Cognizant Founders Cup and continue to provide opportunities, outreach, and education to help invite historically excluded groups into sports and technology.”

Crawford’s success in 2023 was illustrative of just how important events like THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup can be. She won last May’s event by two strokes over Abe, then parlayed that experience into a victory in THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational in June, securing exemptions into three LPGA events during the 2023 season. She advanced to the second stage of the LPGA and Epson Tour Qualifying Tournament and earned full Epson Tour status this season.

“Looking back at my 2023 season, winning the two THE JOHN SHIPPEN events and earning exemptions into three LPGA tournaments made it a truly memorable year,” Crawford said. “I learned so much about my game, as well as how to prepare and compete against the best players in the world. I’m appreciative of the opportunities that THE JOHN SHIPPEN has provided for me and so many other top Black women, and I look forward to coming back to defend my titles in both events this May and June.”

Intersport, a leading Chicago-based sports marketing and media agency, partnered with Woods & Watts Effect in 2021 to create THE JOHN SHIPPEN - a series of competitions created to provide playing opportunities on the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR for the nation’s top Black women and men golfers. THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit will also be held for the fourth year to create awareness about employment opportunities within the business of sports.

THE JOHN SHIPPEN was created to identify historical barriers, expand Black representation in golf, and address the lack of Black representation in business and leadership roles within the golf and larger sports industry for people of color. The events are named after John Shippen, Jr., who was both the first American-born golf professional and the country’s first Black golf professional.

“As we enter our fourth year, we are proud of all that we have achieved with THE JOHN SHIPPEN, and we’re eager to continue honoring Mr. Shippen’s legacy by creating opportunities on and off the golf course for talented Black golfers and students of color looking to break into the sports industry,” said Sommer Woods, tournament lead for THE JOHN SHIPPEN. “The support of partners like Cognizant is a key factor in making these events possible.”

Since 2021, 90 of the nation’s best Black men and women golfers have competed in THE JOHN SHIPPEN. THE JOHN SHIPPEN has awarded sixteen playing opportunities on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour and donated $340,000 to local charities, scholarships and fellowships. SHIPPEN alumni continue to see success beyond the National Invitational through player-earned memberships on the PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR Americas and Ladies European Tours.

Last year was another historic year for THE JOHN SHIPPEN, as for the first time in the event’s history, the Men’s Invitational champion – Chase Johnson – made the cut at the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.

This year’s events will kick off with THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup. The 36-hole women’s competition in THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational will be held June 4–5 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the 36-hole men’s tournament will be June 22-23 at Detroit Golf Club.

Upper Montclair Country Club is one of only a few country clubs worldwide known to have hosted tournaments for all three professional golf tours, including the LPGA in 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, and 2007-2009. Long considered one of New Jersey’s premier golf clubs, the legendary A.W. Tillinghast golf course design underwent a significant renovation in the 1950s, directed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., transforming Upper Montclair Country Club into its present 27-hole Championship layout.

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

2024 Player Field
(Players Listed in Alphabetical Order)

Madison Barnett
AGE: 24
STATUS: Professional
COLLEGE: University of North Carolina at Charlotte
RESIDENCE: Mableton, Georgia
·  2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup competitor
·  2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor
·  2023 LPGA Tour Dow Championship competitor

·  Runner-up 2021 Georgia State Women’s Match Play          

Paige Crawford
AGE: 32
STATUS: Professional
COLLEGE: Montana State
RESIDENCE: Colorado Springs, Colorado
·  2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup champion
·  2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational champion
·  2023 LPGA Tour Cognizant Founders Cup competitor
·  2023 LPGA Tour Meijer LPGA Classic competitor   
·  2023 LPGA Tour Dow Championship competitor

Janelle Johnson
AGE: 27
STATUS: Professional
COLLEGE: Nova Southeastern University
RESIDENCE: Royal Palm Beach, Florida
·  2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup competitor
·  2023 Epson Tour member

Cami March
AGE: 24
STATUS: Professional
COLLEGE: Washington State University
RESIDENCE: Los Angeles, Califonia
·  2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor
·  Captain of Washington State Women’s Golf team
·  Member of Jamaican National Amateur Golf Team

Georgia Oboh
AGE: 23
STATUS: Professional
RESIDENCE: Manchester, England
·  2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup competitor
·  2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor
·  First Nigerian to Monday qualify and compete in an LPGA event (2022 ShopRite LPGA Classic)
·  2023 Ladies European Tour member (LET)
·  2023 Epson Tour member

Ashley Shaw
AGE: 15
STATUS: Amateur
RESIDENCE: Litchfield Park, Arizona          
·  2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor                       
·  Inaugural Curry Cup Champion
·  2022 Arizona Match Play Champion

Micaa’ Thomas
AGE: 26
STATUS: Professional
COLLEGE: Savannah College of Art
RESIDENCE: Haines City, Florida
·  2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor
·  2022 THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup competitor 
·  2024 Jim Thorpe Invitational competitor

About Intersport
Since 1985, Intersport has been an award-winning innovator and leader in creating 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 its clients 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 provides innovative thinking, engagement, and execution. They produce viable, actionable solutions for sustainable change through a bold, non-traditional, and engaging approach. More information is available at

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. Together, we're improving everyday life. See how at or @cognizant

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