Baryla swings for charity

  • Mar. 30, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Vernon’s Chris Baryla had already pledged $1,000 to the Canadian Red Cross in support of the relief efforts in Japan.

He nearly doubled his charitable donation after he finished tied for 44th with a 2-under par 282 (68-71-76-67) at the Nationwide Tour’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open Sunday.

Baryla, who jumped more than 20 places up the leaderboard in the final round, added half his winnings to his original donation.

“I believe it’s important to use my position as a professional athlete to give back,” Baryla told Canadian Press. “While we might be thousands of miles away, this terrible tragedy has affected us all and I encourage everyone to do what they can to support the people of Japan.”

The 28-year-old, who holds a PGA Tour card, was relegated to the Nationwide Tour after missing the cut in all six events he’s entered this season. Baryla, a two-time B.C. junior champion, has been a pro since 2003.