A 16-year-old who claimed second place at this week's Texas Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament is playing for a cause, and for a friend. Stratton Nolen is ready for the next tournament because it will help him continue to raise money in honor of his friend that passed away from muscular dystrophy. Nolen got people to donate $229.75 per birdie he made during the tournament. And he made eight birdies; so that's almost $2,000 dollars for Texoma's MDA.
Austin Golfer Stratton Nolen won second place in the oldest division of yesterday's final round. This 16-year-old played in memory of his best friend Blaine Smith whose family lives in Wichita Falls. Nolen says, "My buddy Blaine, he was 15 when he died. He died right on my birthday." Blaine died from complications of muscular dystrophy. Nolen says, "He was going down to pet his dog, and he reached down to go pet him. And fell over and got a blood clot after he broke his leg. And ended up dying on my birthday." Nolen says he's doing a charity fund called "Birdies for Blaine". And he's also contributing funds of his own for this awareness. He says you can still contribute to this cause. Nolen says, "You can make donations. It's a serious thing that's becoming more common."
Not only is Stratton donating the money he raised from this tournament, but he will also contribute all the money raised from his next three tournaments he has this summer to the Texoma MDA. Texoma MDA Executive Director Daniel York says Stratton is an amazing kid. He says this is the first time he's encountered a young individual like him. He says he hopes other kids take this example to help out in our local community. If you want to help him raise money, you may click on this link to go to the website Birdies for Blaine.