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AT&T Classic golfers give back

ATLANTA - It's hard to outshine a course full of professional golfers, but 2-year-old Anthony McWhirter made it look simple Tuesday at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Egleston campus.

Decked-out in fuzzy Spiderman slippers and purple pajamas decorated with astronaut teddy bears, the impossibly adorable Anthony stole the show as he made his rounds with his mother, April, at the hospital's annual Golf in the Garden event that coincides with this week's AT&T Classic.

After finishing an ambitious two-holer with golfer Shane Bertsch, Anthony was found playing a game of golf ball catch in a patch of shade with pro Jason Allred. On his first pitch, the tiny southpaw threw a splitter, then erupted in a loud giggle.

Allred said he was happy to give up a couple of hours of practice time to play with kids such as Anthony.

"As soon as you get here, you see these kids and it's like - I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," he said.

AT&T Classic defending champ Zach Johnson, Scott Sterling, Jeff Gove, Billy Andrade and Stewart Cink also attended. Johnson said the event is appealing because it's "hands-on."

"I get as much out of it as the kids do - probably more," he said after finishing a hole with two patients. "Just the perspective that they bring, the smiles that they give us."

The majority of charity funds raised at this week's tournament will be given to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, which uses the money to build facilities. The tournament has contributed more than $13 million to the hospital since 1981, according to tournament officials.

The first round of the AT&T Classic begins Thursday at the TPC at Sugarloaf in Duluth.