SPRINGFIELD (WCIA) — The Korn Ferry Tour rolls into the capital city this week for the seventh annual Memorial Health Championship. The event features 156 of the world’s top up-and-coming golfers who are teeing it up at Panther Creek Country Club, looking to earn status on the PGA Tour. But before they officially take the course in Thursday’s opening round, multiple players took time to give back to the community, visiting patients in the rehabilitation center at Memorial Hospital on Tuesday.
“It’s typically something that’s just inspiring,” Eric Cole said. “They’ve usually been dealt a tough circumstance and their ability to persevere is inspiring and is something that we look up to.”
“If I can make someone’s day who’s sitting in a room, maybe they don’t have someone who can come and visit them, if I can make someone’s day a little brighter and makes someone’s day, that means a lot,” Jay Card III said.
Not only did the golfers spend time with patients, they also shared some of their best putting tips with children at Memorial Child Care.
“We have a week-to-week thing where golf kind of becomes a job, and it’s really cool to see what is hopefully the beginning of their interest in golf,” added Cole.
“That’s one of the cool things about this job is being able to give back,” Card III said. “I started when I was around these kids age, five years old, maybe a little bit younger with a plastic club in hand hitting balls around the backyard. It’s really cool to go full circle.”
The 72-hole, four-day Memorial Health Championship tees off Thursday with the 156-player field vying for a total purse of $750,000.