Ernie Els Swings Against Autism

Posted June 15th, 2011 at 1:20 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

Ernie Els holding the U.S. Open trophy in 1997

South African golf star Ernie Els has returned to Congressional Country Club here in the Washington area this week, the site where he won his second U.S. Open title in 1997. Els has had many changes in both his personal and professional life since that victory. Away from the course, Els married his wife, Liezl, in 1998, and they now have two children, Samantha and Ben. He also started the Els for Autism campaign to fund research of the disease after his son was diagnosed. The Els Center of Excellence is a $30 million plan to combine The Renaissance Learning Center with a research facility. This center is a charter school for autistic children, and the research facility would focus on curing and preventing the disease in the future.

All of this helps put in perspective what Els does in between the ropes. He has 35 wins on the PGA and European tours since that ’97 U.S. Open victory, including the 2002 British Open championship at Muirfield in Scotland. Earlier this year, Els was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, as he nears what could be the back nine of an illustrious career. However, Els’s recent struggles are a part of why coming back to Congressional is giving him hope.

Since winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March 2010, Els has just one victory worldwide, back home at the South Africa Open. Coming back to a course where he has prevailed in a major before just might help the 41-year-old get back on track. Patience is something he’s learned in all his years of professional golf. “The Big Easy,” Ernie’s unofficial nickname, will try to recapture his winning form with that patented, silky smooth swing of his. No matter what happens this weekend, Els will be known for his decorated career on and off the golf course, while maintaining the utmost class. A Sonny Side of Sports salute for Ernie Els!

Watch Ernie chipping in here at the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club:

This blog post was written by VOA intern Nicholas Berault.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About

Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

The Sonny Side of Sports is broadcast Monday through Friday at 1630 and 1830 UTC/GMT. And on Fridays at 1730 UTC/GMT, Sonny has an expanded 30-minute sports show.

Brighten your day by tuning in the Sonny Side of Sports!

» Listen to the latest show

Facebook

Latest Videos

Contact

E-mail
sonny@voanews.com

Telephone
+1.202.205.9942
When you hear the VOA identification press 60

Postal Mail
Voice of America
Room 1613
330 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20237
USA

Archives