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Birdies add up to big bucks for St. Jude at Memphis tournament

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — PGA pros hop around the globe across countries and continents, but it’s here in Memphis, at St. Jude, that they make a rare genuine connection.

Every year, the FedEx St. Jude Invitational golf tournament serves as a crucial fundraiser for St. Jude, and with its most talented field ever, some of the top golfers in the world are raising thousands of dollars every day.

“It really is unbelievable what St. Jude does for kids in need. The time, the effort, the money that this makes. It’s very important.” said Justin Thomas, ranked No. 9 in the world.

These golfers only spend a few days in Memphis, but that’s long enough to connect to the courageous young patients at St. Jude. While they’re in town, some of the top golfers in the world are opening their wallet in a major way.

A handful of pros are all donating $1,000 per birdie, and $5,000 per eagle putt. For a tournament where every athlete is playing all four days, that could lead to a very large check, but the cause makes it worth it.

"I’m only doing it because it’s such a great cause," said John Rahm, No. 8 in the world. "The fact that kids can come to this hospital, this community does what it does and they don’t pay a bill. Human health is so important.”

Now that the tournament is a World Golf Championship event, it’s allowing for more players to attend, and potentially more donations than ever.

"I almost felt bad for not coming here before. I didn’t know how important this is for that," Rahm said. "Any time you play golf, you play for more than just yourself.”

For the kids in remission, and patients still battling, these selfless athletes are truly making a difference.

"There’s just a lot more to golf and life. Any time I can help, I will,” Rahm said.

After day one, the golfers had donated $13,000 to St. Jude, and as of Friday, they’d combined for more birdies, so it should be a very productive weekend.

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