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Posted April 24, 2019 10:04 am
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Justin Thomas launches foundation for children, military

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    Justin Thomas drives from the second tee during the first round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Thursday, April 11, 2019, in Augusta, Georgia. [NIGEL COOK/FOR THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

Justin Thomas is the latest PGA Tour player to launch a foundation, and it wasn't anything he threw together overnight.

"We've been talking about it the last couple of years," Thomas said. "My mom has done an unbelievable job of making sure everything was done properly. We've talked to so many other athletes, their wives, people who have run other foundations who said, 'If we had to do it over, make sure you to do this or do that.' There's no reason to do it if it's not done right."

The Justin Thomas Foundation officially launched last Wednesday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. It featured a dinner with 544 guests and a waiting list, always a sign of support. Along with a silent auction, Thomas invited an auctioneer for other items because, he said, "I'm not very good at talking real fast to get people to donate money."

Peter Jacobsen conducted a fireside chat with Thomas, who at 25 has nine victories, a major at the PGA Championship, a FedEx Cup title and has reached No. 1 in the world. Kelley James provided the entertainment.

Thomas grew up in Louisville, where father Mike was the longtime pro at Harmony Landing.

"I wanted it to be local because of how special Louisville is to me," he said.

Thomas said the three cornerstones of the foundation would be children in need, military families and junior golf. Charities the foundation initially plans to support are the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana, The First Tee of Louisville, Folds of Honor, The First Tee of Tuscaloosa, Kentucky Golf Foundation and Convoy of Hope.

The next step?

"As I said at the dinner, I need to make sure I'm playing good golf so I can help fund this thing," Thomas said with a laugh.