adidas vintage trainers A chance to play golf in a prestigious tournament
A chance to play golf in a prestigious tournament, on a PGA Tour course, turned into a way to give back for Ollie Osborne.(Photo: Provided by Betsy Osborne)Osborne, a senior at Bishop Manogue, and the defending state golf champion, earned a berth in the Junior Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course. Osborne won the Under Armour/Jordan Spith Championship earlier this summer to get the invitation.
At TPC Sawgrass, junior golfers had access to the TPC Sawgrass locker room, the use of caddies and played a course set up similarly to The Players Championship, including distance and pin placement for all four days.
They were treated like PGA professionals from the practice grounds, locker room ping pong, fully catered meals, standard bearers and military presentations. Since the event began in 2007, 15 Junior Players participants have gone on to golf in The Players Championship.
With the recent devastation in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey, golf became secondary to Osborne and many of his fellow competitors. As the players made their way to Florida, the athletes wanted to help Texas and asked if the AJGA and PGA Tours would make $10 donations for every birdie made at TPC Sawgrass for The Junior Players Championship.
The story of the junior golfers wanting to give back to their communities took on a life of its own, gaining notoriety from professionals like Justin Leonard and Nick Faldo.
The AJGA accepted the challenge to pledge $10 per birdie last week at TPC Sawgrass. Taylor Made adidas Golf also pledged to match the $10 per birdie at The Junior Players Championship.
The field responded as the 78 players combined for 686 birdies and eagles, 71 more than the previous record at The Junior PLAYERS Championship. The junior golfers generated $13,720.00 for the American Red Cross Houston Relief.
UPDATE: Between donations, individual fundraising efforts by juniors and a birdie pledging initiative at TPC Sawgrass, junior golfers helped to raise $28,110 so far to support hurricane relief efforts with $13,720.00 from the Birdie/Eagle challenge.
The field is one of the strongest in junior golf as 18 Rolex Junior All Americans and 37 AJGA champions participated.
Osborne finished the week tied for 19th with rounds of 74 72 72, six strokes off the winner, Ben Wong. Osborne and Wong will play for Southern Methodist University men golf in the fall of 2018.