A big-hearted young Scottish golfer has raised almost £6,500 for Cancer Research UK - with a little help from Masters champion Dustin Johnson
Jensen Basketter, a nine-year-old Kirklandneuk Primary school pupil, set himself the challenge of playing 72 holes in two days at Renfrew GC.
Jensen, who only picked up a golf club for the first time a year ago, was up at 6am on both days in preparation for the 7.10am tee off times that the golf club had reserved for him, before heading back out on the course at 1.30pm to complete his marathon effort.
“He did extremely well,” proud dad John Basketter told bunkered.co.uk. “He is just one of those kids who takes everything in his stride and, as soon as he had finished the last hole, he was talking about doing the whole thing again next year.”
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In addition to cash donations, Jensen hosted an online charity auction, which attracted support from the likes of Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood and Carly Booth.
“We reached out to golfers to see if they would be interested in helping us out with the auction,” explained John.
“We were more than thrilled with the response we got, especially from recent Masters winner Dustin Johnson. On the back of emailing one of his representatives, we got a reply saying that Dustin would love to donate something for Jensen and he sent over a signed flag from the Open Championship at Royal Troon.
“We also had signed golf tops from Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton, a personalised flag from Carly Booth and a framed flag signed by Jordan Spieth from his Open Championship win at Royal Birkdale in 2017, which raised £500 on its own.”
With a host of golf clubs across Scotland donating fourball vouchers and local businesses also getting in on the act, the auction boasted over 40 items in total and raised a whopping £5,000.
“Before Jensen started his challenge, we asked him how much he would like to raise and he said if he hit £2,000 that would be amazing," added John. "When we told Jensen after the auction that he had raised almost £6,500 in total, he said to us ‘OMG, no way! That’s insane! Are you kidding me?’”
Emboldened by his success, Jensen's is already preparing to take on another challenge next years
John said: “With golf, Jensen just goes out and plays as much as he can. Obviously, in the winter months, he isn’t out as often, so he practises in the house all of the time. We have a garage where he goes out and hits balls and he is up at the driving range all the time. He just loves it.”