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The Sentry 2024: Why PGA Tour Pros Are Wearing Red Ribbons?

Published 01/05/2024, 7:56 AM EST

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via Reuters

The winner of The Sentry 2024 will pocket $3.6 million. But there’s something more important that golfers are trying to do here. Officials, players and fans will join their hands for a humanitarian cause. Last year, tragedy hit the beautiful island of Maui. After the devastating fire of August 2023, around 100 people were reported to be dead, and 11,000 people were displaced. As they are still trying to rebuild their homes, The 2024 Sentry will also do its part.

The wildfire that devastated the centuries-old town was the deadliest in modern US history. Mid-century homes were burnt to rubble and survivors suffered the trauma of witnessing melting cars and bodies. Schools in Lahaina, a census-designated place in Maui County, reopened only in mid-October, 2023. Now, since The Sentry is the first stop of the PGA Tour this year and the first time the Tour is visiting the island after the fatal wildfire, they will do things within their capability to help.

What significance does the letter ‘L’ hold at The Sentry?

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The Sentry 2024 returned to the Plantation Course in Maui for the 26th time. The course is in Lahaina town, and its surroundings were heavily impacted by the fire; especially around Lahainaluna High School, where the fire started.

Lahainaluna High School is situated near the bottom of the Maui Mountains, and up the hill is ‘L’, built by and catered by the high school and its students. The ‘L’ represents Lahainaluna and is an integral part of their identity. To honor and show their support for the Lahaina locals, the PGA Tour pros will be wearing red ribbons.

The ribbons are available for players as well as caddies. Along with the pros, the fans were also encouraged to wear red to support Lahainaluna High School and its foundation, which is one of the beneficiaries of Sentry 2024. Some fans also wore clothes with ‘L’ initials to show their support.

Although the red-themed t-shirt tradition was decided for Saturday, the fans had donned the red-colored clothes a day early. Amidst the fans, the pros and the sponsors have also taken huge steps to help the wildfire victims financially. Many pros like Rickie Fowler, Collin Morikawa, Tom Hoge, and Patrick Cantlay have also initiated campaigns to help the community.

PGA Tour pros donate money to raise funds for Maui fire victims

To help the Maui community, Sentry Insurance has pledged to donate $2 million to fire relief, with half of the amount going directly to Maui United Way. On the other hand, Collin Morikawa has dedicated $2,000 for every birdie and $5,000 for each eagle.

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Another pro, Tom Hoge, will be doing the same. Hoge and his wife will donate $1,000 per birdie and $5,000 per eagle. Patrick Cantlay and the First Responders Children’s Foundation have also started a funding campaign for the victims. Moreover, Rickie Fowler wore a hat with an ‘L’ on it to pay homage, and would be doing so all week.

The Sentry Insurance Foundation donated money for the Aloha Friday Tradition, where $1,000 was donated for every piece of ALOHA-themed apparel (shirts, pants, shoes, and hats). On Saturday, the fans will get a red ‘Lahaina Strong’ t-shirt with the QR code of the Lahainaluna High School Foundation.

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However, it wasn’t just material things that faced destruction in the wildfire. As per reports, the community also faced a mental health crisis after the incident. Months after the wildfire, there was an influx of parents seeking counseling and mental health services for their children. Thus, the community needs all the help it can get. With all the helping hands from fans, organizers, and players, Lahaina town will get much-needed support for recovery.

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Written by:

Khambe Huda Imran

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From a very young age, I, Huda Khambe, have been striving for excellence, and as a Golf Writer at EssentiallySports, my endeavor has only amplified. Having grown up watching Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam bag major after major, I couldn?t help but learn more about the intricacies of the sport, and now I combine that knowledge with my inherent storytelling skills and write about the gentleman's sport, bringing news to life for the readers. As a journalist who lives by the motto 'Girls for Girls', I am hellbent on covering the niche aspects of the sport and giving the readers unique insights about the LPGA and women's golf as a whole. Off hours too, my life involves sports of sorts, with me often engrossed in watching livestreams of Valorant and Counterstrike!
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal

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