El Paso native and NMSU grad Rich Beem golfing for a good cause

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AUSTIN, TEXAS (KTSM) – 18 years ago, El Paso native and former New Mexico State golf star Rich Beem came out of nowhere to win the 2002 PGA championship.

One of golf’s four major tournaments, the PGA Championship was supposed to be held this weekend, but due to COVID-19, it was postponed until August. However, Beem is still competing this weekend for a good cause.

At the University of Texas Golf Club in Austin, Beem is lending a hand to fellow golf professionals. He’s playing 54 holes of golf to raise money for the Golf Emergency Relief Fund.

Spearheaded by a multi-million dollar pledge from the PGA of America, it aims to help workers in the golf industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. So far the fund has raised over $4 million. Beem is donating $50 to the fund for every birdie and $100 for every eagle he makes in the three rounds this weekend.

“There’s going to be a lot of golf courses out there who will be struggling and some will be shut down unfortunately,” Beem said. If I can give back in any way, help out one professional, that would be great. Thankfully I’ve got friends and family who will donate to this and hopefully I can make some birdies and eagles to make some money.”

The 2002 PGA Championship victory was one of three PGA Tour wins in Beem’s career and his only major championship. Beem shot 4-under par in the final round to outlast Tiger Woods, winning by a single stroke over the Big Cat.

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