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Updated Dec 20, 2012 - 3:22 pm

Watson, Ping make big donation to PCH

Bubba Watson presents the Phoenix Children's Hospital with a $250,000 donation. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

PHOENIX -- One of America's top pro golfers is stepping up to help Phoenix Children's Hospital.

While helping children with their skills on a putting green inside Phoenix Children's Hospital on Thursday, Bubba Watson joined Ping in presenting a $250,000 check to the hospital. The money will be used to build a new orthopedic gait lab.

Watson said a lot of kids will be helped.

"[Doctors can] watch them on a computer screen…and see how they walk and different things, to pick certain joints which really cause the kids problems," he said. "They can see it through computers at this lab and help fix the problem."

The 2,800-square-foot lab will help kids with neuromuscular diseases and disabilities. Watson said it was a great opportunity for him to help others.

"I play golf for a living, but I get to give back and be part of a hospital like this, give back to a community like this, hopefully impact some kids in the right way and do some positive things," he said.

Watson lives in the Valley and recently adopted a child. He fought through tears as he talked about helping PCH.

"To have my name associated with this hospital….it's an honor," he said. "And so, I thank you very much."

The money was raised through the sale of 5,000 Ping Pink G-20 drivers, much like the one Watson used to win the Master's Championship.

After the press conference, Watson donated $110,000 of his own money, meaning PCH now has the necessary $1 million to build the lab. The hospital did not say where the other $640,000 came from.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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