PGA star Collin Morikawa visits with St. Jude patients at Overton Park

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 10:44 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On a special week for golf in Memphis and for St. Jude, one of the stars of the FedEx St. Jude Championship stopped by Overton Park to spend some time with patients from the hospital.

Collin Morikawa passed along some tricks of the trade and undoubtedly made their day.

“Collin came to us today to teach us some golf, some putting, and then we had a little competition,” St. Jude patient Azalea said.

Morikawa is already a two-time major winner at just 25 years old.

“I love hanging out with kids,” he said. “I love just messing around with them, having fun, because I still feel like a kid.”

Everyone had fun with Morikawa, but he seemed to have a special connection in particular with 8-year-old Azalea, whose family came from Jamaica to get her treated at St. Jude for cancer when she was just a toddler.

He helped her have a great time, and she lit up his day just as much.

“To see Azalea’s face and see her excitement on making like a 2-foot putt even or making contact with the ball, or seeing what golf is; that makes my heart happy,” Morikawa said.

Morikawa’s generosity with his time won’t be forgotten by Azalea, any of the other patients, or their families anytime soon.

“That’s what really keeps the hospital going,” said Simone, Azalea’s mom. “Those are the kind of things to help us get persons interested in the hospital and to teach them about it to help children like Azalea live.”

Morikawa made sure to leave Azalea with a parting message: a prelude to a possible future competition of a different kind.

“To Azalea, Thank you for today! Dance off?’”

"To Azalea, Thank you for today! Dance off?"
"To Azalea, Thank you for today! Dance off?"(Action News 5)

Azalea says that the dance-off with Morikawa will happen at some point.

The good news is she’s now out of treatment and back home in Jamaica, where she gets to do her favorite thing — go to the beach.

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