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Collin Morikawa pledges $1,000 per birdie to Maui recovery

Collin Morikawa has pledged $1,000 per birdie he makes in the FedEx Cup playoffs to aid recovery in Maui, where wildfires killed at least 36 people and active recovery missions continue Thursday.

Most of the village of Lahaina was destroyed, and surrounding communities were devastated. The number of casualties is expected to rise, President Joe Biden said Thursday afternoon in declaring a national emergency.

“Maui has always held a special place in my heart — my grandfather owned a restaurant called The Morikawa Restaurant, on Front Street in Lahaina,” Morikawa said in an Instagram post. “The people of Hawaii are going to need all the support that we can give them. During the course of the playoffs, I’m going to donate $1,000 for every birdie that I make.”

The playoffs began Thursday in Memphis with the FedEx St. Jude Championship. Morikawa birdied four of his first 12 holes.

They continue for a total of 12 rounds — through the PGA Tour Championship at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta.

Morikawa, 26, said he hasn’t identified how exactly his donation will be directed, whether to an organization, a town or a group of residents.

“The recency of these events means we haven’t identified the best place for the funds to go yet but as the situation evolves, I’ll share the beneficiary to highlight the recovery work they’ll be doing and how you can also support,” Morikawa wrote.

The PGA Tour plays multiple events in Hawai’i, including a high-purse signature event on Maui, the Sentry. The tournament is held at the Plantation Course at Kapalua, where Morikawa finished in a tie for second earlier this year. In four starts there, he has never finished worse than T7.

Morikawa said he still has a significant amount of family on the Big Island. His family emigrated to Maui from Japan, and his paternal grandparents were born and raised in Maui. They have since moved to California.

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