No golfer dressed the same, but there was a connection that many shared.
Whether they were wearing bright green shirts with a Nike swoosh like Matthew Wolff or a navy blue Puma shirt speckled with white like Bryson DeChambeau, many golfers wore a small silver pin.
The pin, an outline of a child with his hand folded in reverence, is the logo of Saint Jude Children’s Hospital. It was worn unanimously by golfers from the FedEx St. Jude Invitational Golfers at TPC Southwind in Memphis on Sunday.
Like their fellow top golfers, Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff of OSU Cowboy took part in the tournament.
The two ex-Cowboys rising in the ranks of professional golfers have joined the starry field. While the purse was healthy $ 10.5 million – with $ 1.82 million alone awarded to winner and former Oklahoma Sooner Abraham Ancer, who won a playoff at -16. Money wasn’t the only reason the big names are riddling the pitch.
As a tournament partner, St. Jude Children’s Hospital receives numerous charitable dollars raised through the event.
The Memphis-based hospital doesn’t charge for patient care, and the FedEx Saint Jude invitational sees most of its invitations to golf’s biggest names answered because it’s a little different.
Hovland and Wolff have joined the biggest names in their sport including Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy.
“I think the PGA Tour does a great job in all the communities they visit raising charitable funds and doing a really good job with it, but I think it more than anywhere else here in Memphis and Saint Jude,” McIlroy said.
Whether generated by the stand selling $ 4 popsicles and donating all proceeds to St. Jude’s, or the custom pizza-themed golf shoes designed by a patient that returning champion Justin Thomas wore. to raise awareness, the generous hospital is generously helped by the tournament.
“It makes me feel very lucky to be able to do what I do, but also very lucky to be able to come to a community like Memphis or travel across the country and know that by coming and playing golf you are doing good. to the community you’re in, ”McIlroy said.
For Wolff, his final score of 7 under was probably disappointing. He shot 6 cents through the first day of the tournament before slowing down. For Hovland, ranked No.10 in the world golf rankings, his final score of -1, good for a piece from the 36th place, was also a disappointment.
Harris English led for much of the tournament and peaked at -20 before seeing his score collapse after completing a pair of double bogeys.
When his putt to birdie the last hole and reach the playoffs ran out of speed and ended his day, the disappointment he felt was only reinforced by the sight he saw. Patients from Saint Judes, including a girl who was battling leukemia, gazed into the shadow of the white metal platform.
“I saw the 17-year-old at 18. It makes you think there are things bigger than golf,” English said. “We always try to compete here. You still feel it. I wanted to putt at 18 to make the playoffs and have a chance to win the tournament, but seeing Saint Jude’s kids at 18 is a little different.
According to Rory McIlroy, after all, the score matters a little less in Memphis.
“You feel the difference it makes when you see the kids and you can talk to the kids and you just think about what they’ve been through,” McIlroy said. “It kind of makes a bogey or a birdie on the last one really mean nothing.”