Justin Suh tied for 37th at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open. The result netted him a solid payday—$34,125 to be precise—and came at a good time given that the former USC All-American is currently waiting for the PGA Tour Latinoamerica season to resume and was only in the field at Torrey Pines because of a sponsor’s exemption.
Even better was what he decided to do with the pay day: Suh, playing in just his 17th career PGA Tour event and making only his fifth cut, donated half his winnings back to the tournament.
The idea came after Suh, a native of California who now resides in Las Vegas, saw the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on his home state. His family owns a small restaurant in San Jose and his sister works in the San Francisco area.
“It was a shock to see how many tents are out on the street and how many businesses have cardboard and wooden planks on the windows,” Suh told Golf Digest on Thursday. “So it’s extremely sad going back home.
“I played [in the Farmers] last year and was lucky enough to get a spot again this year, and it just felt like the right thing to do. The tournament, the Century Club, they’re the ones who take care of us as players. And they’re the ones out there—from taking our COVID testing and making sure the security is right—just helping out and making the experience the best that they could for us as players.”
Suh wasn’t the only one to give back to the tournament, either. His caddie, A.J. Montecinos, donated half of his earnings from the week as well—caddies typically take home between 5-10 percent of a player’s earnings for the week.
The two had made the decision early on in the week before the tournament started. It caught Marty Gorsich, the second-year tournament director and CEO of the Century Club completely by surprise, with Gorsich telling GolfChannel.com, which first reported Suh’s donation, that in his nine years with the organization he had never had or heard of a gesture like that from a player in the tournament.
“It was such a crazy year, 2020, and I’ve had a few friends who’ve lost already close ones over the past year, and it’s really sad,” Suh said. “With what the whole pandemic has done to communities and farmers and we’ve had the opportunity for us to keep working, it was the least I could do.”