MEMPHIS — Collin Morikawa, whose paternal grandparents are from Hawaii, made a pledge as the FedEx St. Jude Championship got started Thursday at TPC Southwind in Memphis.
Morikawa, a two-time major winner, announced on his Instagram page that he will donate $1,000 for each of his birdies in the tournament to support the rescue efforts in Maui as wildfires devastate the island.
Thousands of residents and tourists are being forced to evacuate as the deadly flames tear through the western portion of the island, in particular. Officials said Thursday morning that at least 36 people have died, and much of the island is without power.
“Maui has always held a special place in my heart — my grandfather owned a restaurant called The Morikawa Restaurant, on Front Street in Lahaina,” Morikawa wrote in an Instagram post. “Lahaina and additional areas of Maui and the Big Island are currently being decimated by wildfires. Homes have been destroyed, families displaced and it’s far from over.”
It is not known yet which organization will receive his donations.
Morikawa shot a 5-under 65, his scorecard featuring six birdies. He walked off the course tied for third. He lost in a playoff in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in early July, but prior to that, his last top-five finish was at the Farmers Insurance Open in January.