Mark Wahlberg swings for St. Jude at CME Championship, chips in $52K

Mark Wahlberg at the CME Championship in 2018. LPGA Gabriel Roux LPGA/Gabriel Roux

Mark Wahlberg swings for St. Jude at CME Championship, chips in $52K

LPGA Tour

Mark Wahlberg swings for St. Jude at CME Championship, chips in $52K

NAPLES, Fla – Actor Mark Wahlberg took part in a “Beat the pro” competition on Wednesday morning at the CME Group Tour Championship, joining major champs Brittany Lincicome and Mo Martin in a closest-to-the-pin competition.

The contest yielded $52,000 in donations for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Wahlberg matched it, bringing the total donations to $104,000.

“It’s fantastic,” said Wahlberg. “What St. Jude’s is able to do for every single family, never denying anybody, taking care of everything. It’s just nice to know that the kids out there have a place like St. Jude’s.”

NAPLES, FL - NOVEMBER 14: Actor Mark Wahlberg (center) talks with LPGA golfers Mo Martin (left) and Brittany Lincicome during the CME Group charity event to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital prior to the LPGA CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club on November 14, 2018 in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Actor Mark Wahlberg chats with LPGA golfers Mo Martin (left) and Brittany Lincicome during an LPGA charity event in Naples, Fla., Wednesday (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, CME Group Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy announced major upgrades to the season-ending event in 2019, doubling the purse to $5 million and awarding a record winner’s check of $1.5 million.

The season-long charity component for CME has evolved too, as the CME Group Cares Challenge – Score 1 for St. Jude was announced.

Wahlberg helped kickstart the new initiative, in which CME Group will donate $20,000 for each hole-in-one made on the LPGA in 2019. There will be a minimum guaranteed donation of $500,000 to St. Jude, helping to assure that families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food.

“I think the most heartbreaking thing in the world is to see a child that’s sick,” Duffy said.

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