Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tour Players Step Up for Japan

It all started as idol chatter between Bubba Watson and Ryuji Imada, his former teammate at Georgia and longtime friend. Ryuji said he would donate $1,000 for each birdie he shot at Innisbrook. Well Ryuji didn’t shoot any birdies on Thursday and two on Friday…but here’s what it lead to:

PGA Tour stars K.J. Choi and Bubba Watson made a big move over the weekend, not on the golf course at the Transitions Championship but did their part to help the disaster relief effort in Japan.

Bubba hands a PGA official a check for $50,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan. Watson shot a three-under par 68 on Sunday and finished at 279, five-under par for the tournament. “We always give to charity,” Watson said. “It’s about helping people who need help. Me and my wife, Angie, we talked about it when the disaster happened. We wanted to help. We can’t dig through the rubble, so how about money? We’ve been blessed with money, why not help? And then Ryuji brought it to our attention.

“We think about this all the time, how blessed we are,” he said. “From where I grew up to where I am now, it’s a blessing to be able to write a check like that.”

Choi shot rounds of 69-75 and missed the cut. Yet he still pledged $100,000 for Japan relief efforts…

Bobby Gates and Brandt Snedeker were among those who pledged money based on their birdies. Watson said he hopes the effort picks up momentum at the next few tournaments.