Tour pro pledges tournament earnings to cause close to his heart

joaquin niemann waves

Joaquin Niemann is playing for more than himself this week at the RSM Classic.

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The PGA Tour has always made philanthropic efforts a tentpole of its organizational goals. With millions donated each year in communities they visit, the organization lives up to its mission statement which states their intention to “generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays.” This week, one of the game’s young stars is leading by example in that regard.

In an Instagram post this week, Joaquín Niemann shared that he will be donating all of his earnings for the next two weeks to help fund medical bills for Rafita, a 20-day old baby in his home country of Chile that is battling for his life fighting a rare disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

He will also be donating $10,000 for every eagle and $5,000 for every birdie in hope of raising the $2.1M to fund the expensive procedure to cure the newborn. You can donate to the cause through the GoFundMe here.

“This week I am playing for something bigger,” the post says. “You may have seen me post about Rafita, a 20-day old baby that is battling for his life fighting a rare disease called SMA. Spinal Muscular Atrophy symptoms are often seen when babies are first born. They have weak muscle tone and trouble breathing, eating and swallowing. Unfortunately, the only cure is $2.1 million (USD). I will be donating all of my earnings this week and next to help save his life, as well as pledging $10,000 for every eagle, $5,000 for every birdie.”

So far, the GoFundMe has raised just over $10,000 in its goal of funding the procedure. Fellow pros Rickie Fowler and Mathew Wolff have shared the post, and more are sure to do the same as the week progresses. Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and is the staff’s self-appointed development tour “expert.”