By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
MELBOURNE, Australia -- At 8:30 on Tuesday morning the 12 members of the U.S. Team assembled on the driving range at Royal Melbourne to have their official photos taken.
With the exception of a small American flag on the left sleeve of their shirts, though, the traditional red, white and blue was no where to be found. Instead, the U.S. team was clad in green shirts with gold trim -- colors more closely associated with their hosts in Australia.
There was a method to Fred Couples' madness, though, and a very good reason, at that.
When the U.S. Captain came to Melbourne last year to meet with his International counterpart, Greg Norman, he was touched by the tales he heard about the flooding that swept through Victoria in March, 2010. So he hatched an idea to help raise money for local charities, as well as possibly curry favor with the partisan crowd.
Hence, the day’s deviation in colors. The Americans will autograph their shirts, which in turn will be auctioned off for charity beginning Thursday. The auction will run until Saturday, Nov. 26, and you can click here to make your bids.
The money raised will go to Australian football charities Ladder and Reclink. Ladder specifically tackles youth homelessness while Reclink provides sports and arts opportunities for disadvantages Australians.
Couples is pleased with the way the promotion has turned out. He’s hoping the shirts raise around 25,000-30,000 Australian dollars.
"I just had this idea of coming here, and hopefully to be quite honest, getting a few Aussies behind us and thinking we are pretty nice to come here and raise some money," Couples said. "So I got this idea to wear their colors today. Obviously it's Tuesday. I would never do it during the tournament.
“... We teed off early and a few people have noticed and made comments. We took team photos today, and a few players were a little bit mystified on why we are not wearing red, white and blue. So they know why, and it was my idea and it was just done to make a little extra money here."
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