Pizza shoes add slice of inspiration for WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational champion Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas is the 2020 WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational champion, and he won it in a crisp white polo shirt, pink pants, and white shoes decorated with pizza slices.

“I feel I should get a pizza after this,” Thomas joked in his post-match press conference.

When you pair the win with the fact that Thomas’ shoes were designed by a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and will be auctioned off as a donation to St. Jude, it makes for a pretty neat Memphis story.

The designer, whose name is Nate, is from Oklahoma but came to Memphis to be treated at St. Jude when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 8 years old. Pizza is his favorite food, Thomas said, and he continued eating it even while he was sick.

Leaderboard | Photos | Winner’s bag | Money list

“He threw up a pizza,” Thomas said. “He ate it all the time when he ended up finding out that he was sick and he was throwing up every day at about 10 a.m. every day is what they said. It didn’t stop him from eating them obviously.”

So when the partnership between FootJoy, FedEx, and St. Jude gave him an opportunity to design a shoe, he went with a pizza theme and put his name on them.

Thomas said that Nate is now cancer-free and that he was moved by Nate’s story.

“He’s an inspiring kid and I’m so bummed that this year we don’t have the chance to meet face to face and have some interaction,” Thomas said. “But hopefully we will down the road when things get back to normal. St. Jude is an unbelievable place. I’m bummed I can’t go this year, last year was just an eye-opening experience.”

Thomas wasn’t the only golfer wearing custom shoes designed by St. Jude patients. Abraham Ancer’s shoes had Rubik’s Cubes. Webb Simpson wore shoes with crown designs. Cameron Smith went with koala bear shoes.

But in the end, Thomas and his pizza shoes, which were designed by a slice of inspiration from a kid who at one point could barely hold down his favorite food, finished at the top of the leaderboard.

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By: Khari Thompson
Title: Pizza shoes add slice of inspiration for WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational champion Justin Thomas
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Published Date: Mon, 03 Aug 2020 13:30:42 +0000

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