Las Vegas, Nevada (August 2, 2012)–It's not often that the everyday fan can make a true impact in the life of a major champion.  But there is that opportunity this year as Ernie Els–The Open Champion–takes a very personal and hands on approach to his Ernie Els For Autism campain. And on August 13 there is a Super Regional quailifier event at Las Vegas' Rio Secco Golf Club, and that is just one of several across the country. All of that leads up to the Grand Finale that is played at several Las Vegas golf courses in the Fall of this year. Click now to sign up for Rio Secco Super Regional or any other qualifier. –By Brian Hurlburt

The good news is that you don't have to be a great golfer to qualify for the Grand Finale October 19-21 in Las Vegas, hosted personally by Els. It is as important–probably more important–to be the biggest fundraiser at a Super Regional. In fact, any two-person team which raises more than $10,000 is automatically qualified for the VIP weekend of golf and hotel stay at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Funds are raised through securing pledges from friends and family. Click to donate or sign up now.

Els' son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism, and Els and his wife, Liezl, helped created the Els For Autism campaign which is described as the largest international charity challenge in the world. "It is several years since our son Ben was diagnosed with Autism," says Els about the issue and his son. "We suspected for a few years that something was not quite right. There’s a process that every kid goes through. Crawl at nine months, walk at 12 months, and then start talking and so on. With Ben we started thinking: ‘Why is he not crawling? Why is he not walking? Why is he not looking me in the eye?’ Things like that. We soon discovered he was quite severely touched by Autism. We established the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 with the goal of funding an Autism Center of Excellence, the first of its kind in the world. Autism hits families hard and I'll be fighting for the rest of my life to try and help others in the same situation. I hope you'll share an interest and join me in this fight."

To date in 2012, more than $1.2 million has been raised but there is a goal of $2.5 million to be reached. The regional events are taking place at some of the best golf courses in the country including Rio Secco, TPC Boston, Chambers Bay, and Wentworth Club is Surrey, England. All of that culminates in Las Vegas.

Can't play during this event? Click now for the official website of Rio Secco Golf Club where you can reserve your online Las Vegas golf tee times for Rio Secco.



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