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2014 Els for Autism Pro-Am Raises $745,000

Great support from Tour Pros, amateurs, donors and sponsors, helps deliver another wonderful fundraising result for Els for Autism.

Jupiter, Fla. (March 10th, 2014) – Monday 10 March 2014 will be recorded as a landmark date in the chronicles of the Els for Autism Foundation. First Ernie and Liezl led a groundbreaking ceremony on site for The Els Center of Excellence, which was followed straight afterwards by the sixth Els for Autism Pro Am, in association with Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficionado.

This year’s Pro Am raised $745,000, which brings the total in the six-year history of this event to almost $4 million.

The event was televised in the US on Golf Channel, fronted by Tim Rosaforte, which was in itself a huge boost in terms of creating more awareness for Autism and, of course, the Els for Autism Foundation. “Big thanks to Tim and all the guys at the Golf Channel,” tweeted Ernie through his official account @TheBig_Easy.

PGA National’s famous Champion Course was again the venue for this always well-supported annual event, which this year was blessed with perhaps the strongest ever line-up of Tour Pros, featuring no less than seven major champions. The complete field included: Thomas Aiken, Greg Chalmers, Graham DeLaet, James Driscoll, Rickie Fowler, Branden Grace, Justin Hicks, Thongchai Jaidee, Martin Kaymer, Justin Leonard, Matteo Manassero, Steve Marino, Will McGirt, Louis Oosthuizen, Pat Perez, Nick Price, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott, Vijay Singh, Kevin Streelman, Michael Thompson and Michelle Wie.

The focus at the annual Els for Autism Pro Am is primarily on having fun while fundraising, both of which were present in abundance, but there was also a competition to play for. This year it was won by the high-profile group of ex-Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, talk show host Rush Limbaugh, publisher and Els for Autism Board Member Marvin Shanken, alongside LPGA Tour Pro Michelle Wie. “Despite no warm-up, she was just tearing it up – I mean, sweet-spot flushing it on every shot,” commented a very impressed Limbaugh on his website.

“Every year Liezl and I are overwhelmed by the generosity and the level of support given to this very worthy cause,” said Ernie. “We want to thank our sponsors, partners, amateur competitors and, of course, PGA National, the most generous of hosts and a magnificent partner to the Els for Autism Foundation these past six years.”

“Not least, we also send our special thanks to my fellow Tour Pros who gave up their time, many of them having travelled straight from an extremely demanding week playing in the WGC – Cadillac at Doral. Guys, it really means a lot to us. We couldn’t do this without you.”