The strong pull to lend a hand in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings has not escaped the golf world, with local players, courses, and organizations raising money to assist the victims.
It’s not too late for you to become involved.
Boston native James Driscoll, who is in his eighth season on the PGA Tour, created Birdies for Boston to generate money for One Fund Boston. The idea is simple: For every birdie he made at last week’s RBC Heritage, and for every birdie he will make at this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Driscoll will donate $1,000. He made nine birdies last week, with his $9,000 part of the $27,000 that was raised the first week through Birdies for Boston.
“I’ve been really impressed by how much it’s taken off over the past week,” Driscoll said. “That was the idea behind doing it two weeks. I didn’t think one week would really gain enough momentum, so if we did two weeks maybe that second week we’d hit the ground running and maybe raise a few bucks. I’d say mission accomplished so far.”
Driscoll said he’s received assurances from some of his fellow Tour pros that they would donate, and a website has been created for anyone else interested in making a pledge. To participate in Birdies for Boston, visit www.pgatour.com/together and click on the link at the top directing visitors to Driscoll’s page.
He said he won’t be applying extra pressure on himself this week to make more birdies, but Driscoll is returning to the scene of one of his best PGA Tour finishes. He lost the 2005 Zurich in a playoff at TPC Louisiana.
More birdies means more money raised, but Driscoll said he’s simply trying to reach as many people as possible for a cause he feels strongly about, given his ties to the area.
“I was just trying to reach some people that might not have heard of a way to help, and get a couple people to donate a few bucks that might not have otherwise done it,” Driscoll said. “I was talking to one of my brothers and bouncing ideas off each other about what we can do, then we found out that Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino had started the One Fund Boston. It was a no-brainer.”
Like Driscoll, the New England PGA also pegged its fund-raising to birdies, pledging $10 for every birdie made on Monday at its pro-am at Thorny Lea Golf Club in Brockton. The One Fund Boston was also the beneficiary; a field of 176 players combined to make 330 birdies, so $3,300 was raised.
The NEPGA announced that there will be upcoming One Fund weekends, when local courses will ask for a minimal donation over the cost of greens fees, with proceeds going straight to the fund.
Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth is taking an even bigger step. On Monday, every dollar earned through greens fees will be donated to the One Fund Boston.
“The events of last week and the response really hit home with all of us,” said John Tuffin, the director of golf at Pinehills. “As Bostonians we understand the significance of Patriots Day and what a special day it is. Being able to do a small part to help those who were affected is something we feel compelled to do.”
Curran gets his chance
Jon Curran has received a sponsor’s exemption into the Zurich Classic, giving the Hopkinton product his third career start on the PGA Tour, and second this season. Curran played in the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach, missing the cut, and tied for 24th at this year’s Puerto Rico Open, when he got in through Monday qualifying. Now, for the first time, he’ll be in the same PGA Tour field as Keegan Bradley, his former Hopkinton High teammate . . . The Tiger Woods Foundation announced this week what’s been known for months: That it has assumed day-to-day operations of the Deutsche Bank Championship, held Labor Day weekend at TPC Boston in Norton. Since the tournament’s 2003 debut, IMG had managed the event, which is part of the PGA Tour’s four FedEx Cup playoff stops . . . Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player tied for seventh in the Demaret Division of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in Savannah, Ga. Lee Trevino (who teamed with Dave Hill and tied for third) was also in the group, bringing together three of the game’s greatest icons for two days and 36 holes. Jim Colbert and Bob Murphy won the division.
All entries for the 105th Massachusetts Amateur must be received by the Massachusetts Golf Association by 5 p.m. on May 2. This year’s tournament is July 8-12 at Longmeadow Country Club, with a field of 144 expected to participate. After automatic exemptions, that number will be reached with the help of 10 qualifiers, which run from June 3-18. Applicants must have a GHIN handicap index of 4.4 or better. To enter, or for more information, visit www.mgalinks.org . . . This year’s US Women’s Open is at Sebonack Golf Club on Long Island (June 27-30), and anyone hoping to play must have their entry to the US Golf Association by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Mount Pleasant Country Club in Boylston will be one of 20 sectional sites, holding its qualifierMay 13. There is no age limit for the US Women’s Open, but it, too, enforces a handicap index of 4.4 or better. To enter — only online applications are accepted — visit www.usga.org/champs/apply . . .Todd Cook of the Milton Hoosic Club teamed with Jeff Czerwinski (Golfsmith) to shoot an even-par 68 at the Myopia Hunt Club and win the New England PGA’s Spring Pro-Pro event . . . Jeffrey Martin (Norton Country Club) shot a 3-over 73 at Thorny Lea Golf Club to win the pro portion of the NEPGA Pro-Am. The team of Stephen Duffy (TaylorMade Performance Lab), and amateurs Peter Judge, Dan Santos, and Dave Whippen took the two better-ball team competition, shooting a 4-under 136 . . . Woods Hole Golf Club will once again host the Eastern Amputee Golf Association’s annual outing on Monday.