Justin Thomas has an affinity for the Bahamas, spending plenty of time in the island-chain nation, including several "Spring Break" trips to Baker's Bay resort with PGA Tour friends, including Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Smylie Kaufman.
After seeing the devastation caused across parts of the country by Hurricane Dorian, Thomas wanted to raise money to help with relief efforts. That's why he has pledged to donate $1,000 per birdie he makes in his four fall-season starts to Convoy of Hope, an organization leading the long road back to normal.
Speaking ahead of his 2019-2020 season debut at the Safeway Open in California, Thomas shared his shock at the pictures of the destruction caused by the Category 5 hurricane.
“To have [Baker's Bay] almost completely wiped away, being closed for a year and a half or two (years), and the amount of damage it had and the fact that, you know, that spot, Baker's, is not even as bad as Marsh Harbour and other Abaco (islands) – it’s awful, it really is,” Thomas said Wednesday.
“Those people that worked there, they don’t have houses to go back to, and people that have grown up there and been through 13, 14 hurricanes, their house didn’t make it. It’s like, what do they have to go to?”
Thomas is among a number of players organizing fundraising efforts and pledging money to help the Bahamian relief efforts. Tiger Woods has teamed with Justin Timberlake and a pair of corporations to offer $6 million in matching contributions through the One Bahamas Fund. Brad Faxon and Justin Leonard have organized a pro-am event to raise money as well.
The Alabama product is hopeful his contribution will have no only a financial impact but to keep the Bahamian people in the public consciousness, as their recovery will take years.
“There’s nothing that I could do individually that could fix everything, but my big thing is I was just trying to spread the word and get others to hopefully pledge with me,” Thomas said. “It’s going to take a long time for them to heal and recover, so any little thing any person can do is huge.”