On Wednesday night, Tiffany Joh started a GoFundMe for best friend and LPGA Tour player Jane Park, her husband Pete Godfrey and their 10-month-old daughter Grace. Grace has been hospitalized since last Friday with undiagnosed seizures and brain swelling, and Joh broke her brain for ways to help the family. After jointly editing a video with a personal rendition of the song ‘Amazing Grace’, Joh reached out to a few friends on tour and planned to release it at 8am. And before their eyes, the campaign turned into a fever storm of support.
The initial goal of $ 10,000 was quickly exceeded. At 6 p.m. on Thursday, GoFundMe had raised over $ 37,500 from over 220 different donors. When Joh left the 18th green in the LPGA Classic marathon after scoring a 73 on the first lap, she immediately grabbed her cell phone, eager to see how much money was raised. She flipped her eyes through the notifications in amazement, almost stunned by the incredulous number of contributions.
“It was so cool and just right – even if I went up 6pm today I thought I can’t wait to turn my phone on and see how GoFundMe does it. I definitely didn’t imagine that – I mean, I imagined it because everyone loves Jane and Pete and Grace. At the same time, I didn’t think the support would be so overwhelming, “said Joh.” I’m not surprised because this LPGA family … I’ve been on tour for 10 years and this LPGA family has done me so well. But I think just like seeing it in action and just seeing the wave of support for Jane and Pete and Grace, it was just so cool. I mean, Jane has been my best friend since I was 13 so it was really hard to see her go through that. “
And in addition to her organizational efforts, Joh is currently a round in her swan song after admitting earlier this week that she was planning to retire after this week’s event, a decision that seemed out of the blue to fans, friends and media alike . “I totally thought it was coming out next week and then I would say, Ha, see you later. I’m out, “said Joh.” But yeah, I think at first I thought: Man, I really want to just float out of here and not tell anyone. It was really cool that people showed up. “
Joh said she will keep trying to qualify for the US Women’s Open until “I’m 145 years old” but will take on a coaching role that will be announced. With Friday coming, Joh is hoping for more birdies but is ready to enjoy the last ride.
“I felt this was about time, for my career to close and really pay off for everything golf has given me. I think I told Ben (Harpring who broke the story for womensgolf.com) that at the end of the day it is such a cool experience to play tournaments and play big championships, but I think I shape these just to make it sustainable. Relationships and the growth of the game have become more and more important to me, and it’s something that I really hold onto in my heart, “said Joh.” I’m also really looking forward to the next step. “