Player giveaways. Poker tournaments. Putting competitions.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, LPGA Tour players are helping their communities and countries by giving back in a variety of ways. Yesterday, three-time Tour winner Christina Kim donated platelets while going Live on the LPGA Tour’s Instagram.
Today, PGA and LPGA Tour players team up to go “chipping all-in” for charity.
Beginning at 3 p.m. EDT, fans will get the opportunity to watch players like Michelle Wie West, Danielle Kang, Natalie Gulbis, Lydia Ko, Brittany Lincicome, Gaby Lopez, Cristie Kerr, Cheyenne Woods, Kristy McPherson, Jenny Shin and Alison Lee compete amongst PGA Tour pros to raise money for the MGM Resorts Foundation’s Employee Emergency Grant Fund. The Fund is designed to assist MGM Resorts’ employees during the unexpected hardships of the coronavirus.
“I’ve always loved poker, but I don’t get to play as much as I would like. When [MGM Resorts] contacted me about playing and explained what they were raising money for, it was a no brainer,” said Lincicome.
Join me April 16 for the Chipping All-In Virtual Poker Tourney feat. myself, @natalie_gulbis @MichelleWieWest and more. Proceeds will benefit the @mgmresortsintl Employee Emergency Grant Fund, providing short-term relief to employees impacted by COVID-19. https://t.co/EF8rvkU2DP— Alison Lee (@alisonlee) April 15, 2020
Ko, who said she’s never played poker, decided to join the event after learning about what it benefited as well. “I have never done anything like this before. I’m excited for it!” said Ko. “It’s amazing that both the women and men players are coming together for a great cause. It just shows how much people want to help other even during these tough times. Not only are they talented athletes, but really amazing people.
“I don’t think I will get far at all in the event. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to make a difference and have fun.”
The participants will be divided among multiple tables, with the two finishers from each advancing to the final table. Live player audio during the rounds will give viewers an enhanced experience, as the golfers will give personal shout-outs to viewers who donate to the Fund while watching, and engage with fans during a live Q&A hosted by CBS Sports’ Amanda Balionis.
“I’m not very good at tournament style poker,” admitted Lincicome. “As long as I’m not first to get kicked out, I will view that as a win!”
“This is what golf creates – relationships and experiences for everyone,” said Lopez. “Having the chance to impact someone else’s life is what we play for. I feel very fortunate to be able to do so outside of the golf course.”
The tournament will be streamed on Twitch and YouTube, with more info available here.
But, poker isn’t the only outlet for players with a desire to give back. Last weekend, Kristen Gillman, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrom, Dani Holmqvist and Symetra Tour rookie Sierra Brooks played in a virtual putting tournament through the Perfect Practice Golf Instagram alongside PGA Tour pros and celebrities. The online competition benefited No Kid Hungry, an organization that provides vulnerable kids and families with nutritious food.
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Who won the #PerfectPracticeInvitational? Would you believe it…we had a 7-way tie for first place! Muggsy Bogues, Garrett Powell, Joe Don Rooney, Alissa Kacar, Tyler Braden, Brian Kortovich and Kristen Gillman all sank 19 and missed just once after four days of putting. Nice work, y'all. 🏆 . Thank you to all of our partners that participated in the #PerfectPracticeInvitational to benefit @NoKidHungry. .⛳️ . Remember, you can still make a donation to No Kid Hungry and make your presence felt on behalf of hungry kids all over the country. Stay safe and keep on putting!
Participants attempted to make 20 putts through four days to see how far up the leaderboard they could go. Gillman finished in a tie for first after making 19 putts, with Brooks and Lindberg among those in a tie for second with 18.
Meanwhile, across the pond, major champions Georgia Hall and Laura Davies came up with their own giveaway. Hall recently auctioned off one of her Callaway golf bags online, with Davies looking to currently auction off her 2019 Solheim Cup Vice Captain’s bag with a set of clubs included.
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I’d like to auction off my 2018 edition @callawaygolf US Open Tour bag to raise money for the guys @CriticalNhs who are doing an amazing job providing food for the frontline staff @StGeorgesTrust #NHS #CoronaUpdate #Covid19 Highest bid received before midday on Easter Sunday will be the winner. (Minimum £100) 🙌🏽 Please DM or comment below!
Ok let’s see how much we can raise for the NHS. A Solheim Cup 2019 Vice captains bag with a set of Lynx blades a Driver and a putter. Midnight Sunday is the cut off. pic.twitter.com/malJWh7y66— Laura Davies (@LFCLJD) April 14, 2020
Both are raising money to benefit organizations supporting NHS nurses and doctors, adding to the ever-growing list of Tour players doing what they can to do their part during these trying times.