09 Jan 2020 | Golf Australia | Industry news |

Aussie stars make bushfire relief donations

by Golf Australia

Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman_image
Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman begin their 2020 campaigns at this week's Sony Open. (Photo: Justin Falconer/Golf Australia)

- By Justin Falconer

Six of Australian golf’s biggest stars will have extra incentive to go low this week as their PGA Tour campaigns resume for the new year.

Cam Smith, Marc Leishman, Matt Jones, Cam Davis, Cam Percy and Rhein Gibson have all pledged to donate funds to the Australian bushfire relief cause following the Sony Open in Hawaii, per the PGA Tour’s Ben Everill.

Smith and Leishman will tip in $500 for every birdie and $1000 for an eagle.

Jones has pledged $250 per birdie and $500 per eagle, with Davis, Percy and Gibson also vowing to contribute following the devastation caused across their home country in recent weeks.

The Begin Again Foundation, founded by Leishman and wife Audrey, will also match donations up to $5,000.

"The devastation caused in this unprecedented national crisis in Australia is just terrible,” Leishman told the PGA Tour.

“I am calling on my fellow TOUR pros to join the cause and create enough support so we can maximize the donations from the Presidents Cup and TOUR itself as well,” Leishman said.

“This is a global crisis and a cause close to my heart.”

On behalf of the Presidents Cup, the PGA Tour will match any donations from its players this week up to $125,000.

“It is heartwarming and comes as no surprise to see our players lend their support for the current crisis here in Australia,” Presidents Cup Executive Director Matt Kamienski told the PGA Tour.

“It is difficult to witness what this community has endured over the last several weeks. Our thoughts are with those who have experienced a loss during this time and we thank those who continually raise their hand to fight these bushfires.

“The Presidents Cup and the PGA TOUR have been welcomed with open arms in all of our visits to Australia and we hope our involvement will positively impact the community that gave so much to the event.”

LPGA player Sarah Kemp made a similar pledge on social media this week and was backed by Japan Tour pro Matt Griffin and European Tour young guns Lucas Herbert and Zach Murray.

That triggered responses from a host of LPGA stars and high-profile golfers around the globe, including former ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open winners Jessica and Nelly Korda, 2017 ISPS Handa Vic Open champ Mel Reid, Charlotte Thomas, Tiff Joh, Marina Alex and more.

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