Ernie’s Latest News – 12 March

12 Mar

We’ve just wrapped-up another successful Annual Wine Spectator & Cigar Aficionado Els for Autism Pro Am, our 11th staging of this wonderful event.

Since its inception in 2009 we’ve raised around $11 million for autism. It’s an incredible effort and, as in previous years, many people warrant heartfelt thanks from Liezl and myself; firstly to the amateurs who took part, our hosts at beautiful Old Palm Golf Club and of course our inspiration and driving force at this event, Marvin Shanken of Wine Spectator & Cigar Aficionado.

Last but not least, to the players who took time out of their schedules to tee-up for our great cause: Jack Nicklaus, Nick Price, Christie Kerr, Ian Baker Finch, Branden Grace, Anirban Lahiri, CT Pan, Charl Schwartzel, Morgan Hoffman, Marc Leishman, Luke Donald, Chase Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Cameron Tringale, Jessica Korda, Graeme McDowell, Li Haotong, KJ Choi, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Abraham Ancer. Once again thank you so much, guys!

Moving on, then…since my last report we’ve had a nice little stretch of tournaments, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Genesis Open, Honda Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational. That’s meant visiting some of my favourite venues in world golf – still a treat, even after all these years on Tour. And there’s been plenty of solid play in there, too. That’s been quite gratifying. The consistency is better than it has been these last few years and the results are starting to reflect that; a top-20 at the Honda Classic and a top-30 at Pebble.

At Bay Hill, I felt like I couldn’t buy a putt in the second round, which was a little bit frustrating, but actually the putter has felt mostly pretty good in recent months and overall I’m excited about where my game is at. Just gotta stay fully committed and keep working hard. As I’ve said in several interviews in recent months, just because I’m approaching 50 doesn’t mean I’m taking my foot off the gas any time soon! Seriously, I’m enjoying my golf too much. And the genuine love of competition still drives me.

Next up on my schedule is a trip to Kuala Lumpur for the Maybank Championship, co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour. It’s always a pleasure visiting Malaysia, experiencing the wonderful culture, food and the hospitality and warmth of the people. All in all, I’m sure it’s going to be a very nice week and I’m looking forward to it.

On my return it’ll be a case of getting straight back into the swing of the PGA TOUR again. We’ll update you on my playing schedule in a few week’s time.

For now, there are just a couple of other items to report on the Els for Autism front. I want to personally thank the team at the Honda Classic and everyone who took part in our latest GameON golf clinic. It went well, the kids loved it, and we loved seeing their reactions and the smiles on their faces. This really is a wonderful addition to our program of events at Els for Autism and for me it’s been a lot of fun being able to attend some along the way.

Also, a quick reminder that this year’s Els for Autism Golf Challenge is now open for registration. Click here to check out the schedule. As always, we have some wonderful and iconic venues on the list. Thank you to all the clubs hosting us this year. Thank you also to our wonderful family of golfers, fundraisers and sponsors. Meanwhile, back home in South Africa our Els for Autism series of golf days is now up and running. There are lots more days left on the schedule, with the grand final once again being held at the spectacular Lost City in October. Check out the poster below, which has all the important details.

Okay that’s it for this report. Follow me on Twitter @TheBig_Easy. You’ll see my Instagram and Facebook links are also at the bottom of this page.

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