Las Vegas, Nevada (July 22, 2012)–It all tracks back to Las Vegas at some point. And Ernie Els, the Open Championship winner, has some nice and noble ties to Las Vegas golf courses. Els has worked with Las Vegas Golf Region resident Butch Harmon, and annually holds his Els For Autism grand finale in Las Vegas. The event is a global initiative that raises funds in the fight against Autism. –By Brian Hurlburt Follow @LVGolfInsider
Again in 2012, the finale of the Els for Autism year-long competition will take place at Las Vegas golf courses Rio Secco Golf Club, Bear's Best Las Vegas, and TPC Las Vegas, three of the best golf courses in Las Vegas. Golfers either qualify via great play or by raising more than $10,000 in a regional event. The Las Vegas regional qualifier is August 13 at Rio Secco. Click now to sign up. Or if you aren't in the Las Vegas area at that time, click now for the entire Els For Autism regional tournament schedule that hits courses like The Greenbrier, Chambers Bay, TPC Boston, Hazeltine, and many other big-time golf courses that are in your area.
Els announced the 2012 event in February at the Northern Trust Open. “Years from now, people may remember me as a golfer and a major champion. But I'd like to be remembered as a father who took the issue of autism and tried to make a difference,” said Els at that time. “The success of the Els for Autism Golf Challenge in 2011 far exceeded my expectations, and on behalf of my family and the thousands of families affected by autism, I’d like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to all of the participants, the PGA TOUR and its TPC Network, and all our sponsors, particularly SAP for opening their hearts and going above and beyond in support of this important initiative. This year’s event promises to be even better, and thanks to everyone’s collective efforts, we’ll be able to deliver the best possible treatment to children on the autism spectrum around the world.”
The low net winning team and teams who fundraise $10,000 or more from each of the 30 events will move on to a final two-day Grand Finale extravaganza at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas in late October. The Els Gallery Club is being introduced this year for individuals who wish to participate in the Golf Challenge without playing golf in a Super Regional event. These individuals can compete in teams of one or two to raise funds and awareness for Els for Autism and earn a chance to come to Las Vegas and participate in the Finale. All of the teams that make it to the Finale will compete for extraordinary prizes including luxury golf and wine tours to South Africa and Europe from Mantis, as well as Callaway prizes including personal fittings and complete sets of golf clubs. In addition, all entrants will be eligible to win a six-day Ultimate Irish Links Golf Tour sponsored by IRISH LINKS.