Melbourne, Australia: In a five-week span in which four 2019 Presidents Cup participants – two from the International Team and two from the US Team – won on the PGA Tour, the Presidents Cup and partner organisations have combined to generate more than US$1.1 million for Australia bushfire relief efforts.
During last month’s Sony Open in Hawaii, won by Australian Cameron Smith, International Team Captain Ernie Els announced an additional donation of US$125,000 from their 2019 charitable funds for the cause. The Presidents Cup and the PGA Tour matched that donation.
Additionally, US Team Captain Tiger Woods has announced that the US Team members also united for a separate donation of US$125,000 from their 2019 charitable commitments for the cause, which the Presidents Cup and PGA Tour have also matched.
This US$500,000 total was donated alongside Greg Norman’s efforts and an accompanying donation of US$250,000 from the Greg Norman charities for a total of US$750,000 for the American Australian Association that established a Bushfire Relief Fund which will use 100 per cent of donations to support fire response efforts throughout Australia.
Also in January, Australian PGA Tour players and 2019 International Team members Marc Leishman and Smith announced that they’d donate funds for every birdie and eagle made at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Smith, who went on to win the event, and Leishman were joined by Matt Jones, Rhein Gibson, Cameron Davis, Cameron Percy and Parker McLachlin, who collectively pledged more than US$26,000 as part of their efforts. The Presidents Cup matched their pledges to create a total donation of more than US$52,000.
Leishman’s Begin Again Foundation also vowed to match general donations up to US$5,000. Leishman, who hails from Victoria, elected to support The Victorian County Fire Authority, while Smith, a Queenslander, tabbed The Queensland Fire and Rescue team as the recipients of his contribution.
On January 27, The Premiers Cup, hosted by Daniel Andrews, the Premier of Victoria, Australia, was held at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club and raised more than US$380,000 to go directly to the families most affected by the fires. As part of the event, custom golf carts signed by the International and US Team members and captains were auctioned off in addition to other PGA Tour and Presidents Cup items to help raise money.
“The fans in Australia have always done so much to support golf, the Presidents Cup and the PGA Tour,” Woods said. “It’s heart-breaking to see the devastation that these fires are creating. As a team, we hope that our contribution can play a small role in helping those effected and can serve to push others to contribute to the cause.”
Norman added: “Our thoughts go out to the communities impacted by the horrendous bushfires in Australia, including those who have sacrificed to fight the fires or deal with their aftermath. It’s been overwhelming to see the output of support by the Australian and international community to support bushfire relief efforts. With the support of my fans, colleagues and business associates, we hope to send a strong signal to our friends in Australia that the international community is there during their time of need.”
To contribute to any of these organisations, please visit their respective donation sites below:
Begin Again Foundation: http://beginagainfoundation.com/donate/
The Victorian Country Fire Authority https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/supporting-cfa#donate-cfa
The Queensland Fire and Rescue team http://www.givit.org.au/disasters