Updated at: 04/18/2013 8:35 PM
By PETE IACOBELLI
(AP) HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - James Driscoll hopes he makes lots of birdies the next two weeks, enough for him to help those hurting from the Boston Marathon bombings.
Driscoll, born and raised in Massachusetts, has pledged $1,000 for each birdie he makes at the RBC Heritage this week and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans next week. He got off to a solid start Thursday in the opening round at Harbour Town Golf Links with four birdies _ worth $4,000 _ in his round of 3-over 74.
"I’ll be happy to write a big check for this," he said.
Driscoll grew up in Brookline, Mass., and now lives in downtown Boston, two blocks from where the explosions took place. He had thought about going home for Patriots’ Day celebrations, but instead stayed in Florida to work on his game before coming here.
When he learned about the bombings, Driscoll was horrified and quickly thought of friends who might’ve been near the blasts, which killed three people and wounded more than 170. No one he knew was hurt, but Driscoll started to think about what he could do to help those people affected by the tragedy. So he came up with "Birdies For Boston."
"It was pretty traumatic a day or two after," Driscoll said. "A lot of my friends are still shaken up by it. It really hits home when it’s that close to where you live."
The money raised is going to the Boston One Fund, an organization set up by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino.
Driscoll has appreciated the support shown by people everywhere for Boston and its citizens. He’s got no doubt the city will recover. "Boston people are strong and they’re for sure going to bounce back," he said.
He hasn’t asked fellow pros for donations, just to help get the message out about raising funds.
Driscoll turned pro in 2001, but has yet to win on the PGA Tour. He has earned more than $307,000 in 10 events this season.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)