On Wednesday afternoon at the Transitions Championship, Ryuji Imada sat down and handwrote a note that he then made copies in the tournament’s media center. His one-paragraph missive was to the point:
“Dear Players: As you may know last week there was an earthquake disaster in my home country of Japan. To support the many people affected by the earthquake. I have decided to donate $1,000 per birdie I make at this week’s event. I would be thankful for any of my fellow competitors to join me in support with any donations. Ryuji Imada."
Imada then took the notes into the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club’s clubhouse and asked the locker room attendant to put a copy in the players’ lockers. Imada’s was a simple statement and a plea from the Hiroshima, Japan, native, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1990 as a 14-year-old as he pursued his dream of playing golf professionally. Imada, a PGA TOUR member since 2005 who attended college at the University of Georgia, wants to help those whose lives changed dramatically when the earthquake, registering 9.0 on the Richter Scale, shook the earth.
As Imada says, he’s doing “in a small way” what he can to assist those devastated by the events in Asia. With the Transitions Championship this week in Palm Harbor, Fla., not far from Imada’s home in Tampa, the winner of the 2008 AT&T Classic took time to visit with Laury Livsey of the PGA TOUR’s communications department to talk about the situation and why he immediately became involved with earthquake relief.
To read the rest of Imada's Q&A, click here.