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Collin Morikawa to donate $1,000 per birdie in FedExCup Playoffs to Maui wildfires

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Collin Morikawa to donate $1,000 per birdie in FedExCup Playoffs to Maui wildfires

    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Collin Morikawa will savor every birdie a bit more during the FedEx St. Jude Championship this week.

    Sure, it will help him advance in the FedExCup Playoffs, but more importantly, it will help those ravaged by the catastrophic wildfires in Hawaii. For every birdie Morikawa makes during the three events of the Playoffs, he will donate $1,000 to support relief efforts in Maui.

    “It's devastating, … what we've been seeing,” said Morikawa, who made six birdies Thursday in his first-round 65 at TPC Southwind. “The before-and-after photos are just heartbreaking.”

    According to multiple news outlets, as of 7 p.m. CST, officials have reported at least 53 people have died in the fires, which have been fanned in part by strong winds from Hurricane Dora, a Category 4 storm. The wildfires have destroyed homes, overwhelmed hospitals and decimated cultural sites.

    For Morikawa, it’s essential to do what he can for a place that holds so much meaning and history to him. His family emigrated to Maui from Japan, and his paternal grandparents were born and raised in Maui. They owned “The Morikawa Restaurant” in Lahaina, which was decimated by the flames.

    Morikawa’s grandparents eventually sold the business and relocated to California, where his parents met and Morikawa grew up, but he spent many summers in Maui. It's a second home to the 26-year-old, who still has lots of family there. Most live in Oahu now, but there are still a couple in Maui. "I think they're alright," he said.

    A newspaper cutting advertising the Morikawa Restaurant in Lahaina, Maui. (Collin Morikawa/Instagram)

    A newspaper cutting advertising the Morikawa Restaurant in Lahaina, Maui. (Collin Morikawa/Instagram)

    The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort is the longtime home to The Sentry, which will serve as the season-opening event for the TOUR’s 2024 schedule. Morikawa has enjoyed consistent success at that event, which will be one of the Signature Events on next year’s schedule. He has finished no worse than T7 in four starts, including a solo second earlier this year.

    Morikawa will donate the funds to Maui United Way and World Central Kitchen. He hopes his pledge will encourage further donations.

    “I know I'm going to ask my sponsors, I'm going to ask people that I know just to help out,” he said. “Anything helps. Really anything. Per birdie I make, whatever you can afford, whatever you want to put in.

    “I want to make a lot of birdies for them. One of our friends texted me, and they're like, okay, $100,000. I'm like, shoot, 100 birdies in three tournaments? I don't know if that's ever been done. But it would be a great feat to say the least. Look, it's hard not to think about it, but at the end of the day, I'm here to win. It's in the back of my mind for sure. It's extra motivation and just perspective I think while we're out there.”

    Six down, 94 to go.

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