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DURHAM, N.C. – After the Duke women’s golf program launched the Birdies for Babies program last year with great success, the Blue Devils along with the men’s golf team are excited to kick off the second year of the program that benefits the Duke Children’s Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units.
Joining the festivities in 2018-19 is the Duke men’s golf program, guided by head coach Jamie Green. Green and the Blue Devils advanced to the semifinals of match play a year ago at the NCAA Championship and are coming off a tied for second finish at the Rod Myers Invitational over the weekend. Duke registered 54 birdies in the season-opening tournament.
“Birdies for Babies demonstrates the amazing philanthropic spirit of Duke student-athletes,” said Amy Deshler, Senior Executive Director of Development for Duke Children’s. “We were honored that Duke women’s golf chose Duke Children’s as the recipient of the funds raised from the inaugural Birdies for Babies. The fundraiser was an enormous success, raising over $10,000 for young patients in our intensive care unit and nursery. We are extremely excited that Duke men’s golf will be joining the fight, making Birdies for Babies even bigger and better this year. We are so appreciative that both Duke golf programs are committed to supporting the kids at Duke Children’s.”
With the women’s golf team set to open the 2018 fall campaign Monday, Sept. 17 at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate and the men’s season already started, the program is accepting pledges starting immediately.
Those looking to support Duke’s partnership with the Duke Children’s can make pledges per birdie. Pledges will start at $0.50 and high pledge increments are welcome. If the Blue Devils register an eagle (counts as two birdies), albatross (three birdies) and hole-in-one (four birdies) they will count as stated. Each pledge will receive an autographed photo of the Duke women’s golf team.
The creation of the program was spearheaded by senior women’s golfer Virginia Elena Carta. A native of Udine, Italy, Carta is a three-time All-ACC selection and the 2016 NCAA Individual Champion. The 2016 WGCA All-America and Honda Award winner turned in a NCAA-record 16-under-par ledger of 272 as a rookie to register her first collegiate victory. Over her career at Duke, Carta has totaled a 73.04 stroke average with 10 top 10 finishes and 18 top 20 placements.
“We are really looking forward to starting season two of Birdies for Babies at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate next week,” commented Carta. “We have a very special team and are all so excited to make birdies. We encourage those who have not donated yet to join so that we can make an even greater impact than the outstanding result of last year. Everyone is thrilled to welcome the Duke men’s golf team to the program as well so we can help more children.”
Duke Children’s is a 180-bed inpatient hospital within Duke University Hospital. The central outpatient clinic, the McGovern-Davison Children’s Health Center, is a 66,000 square-foot facility that is adjacent to the hospital, and that combines medical and surgical specialty services in one colorful, child-focused location. Additionally, there are numerous Duke Children’s primary care and specialty care clinics through North Carolina to care for the needs of children throughout the state. Duke Children’s is one of the largest health care providers for children in the Southeast, and the only children’s hospital in North Carolina to be ranked in all ten specialties by the U.S. News & World Report. Learn more about Duke Children’s online at www.dukechildrens.org or at www.facebook.com/dukechildrens.
The women’s team, led by head coach Dan Brooks, will feature eight regular season tournaments, before heading to the postseason, while the men’s program has 11 regular season events prior to heading into the postseason.
For more information, head to https://www.bluedevilsbirdiesforbabies.org/