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Words with Friends competition leads to $10,000 First Tee donation

December 9, 2013

With an estimated 55 million matches being played around the world at any given moment, tournaments and social rivalries are common occurrences in Words With Friends.

However, every now and then the friendly competition reaches a whole new level…or in this case, a whole new fairway.

In 2011, Steve Hulka of the Professional Tour Caddies Association began a small Words With Friends tournament among 32 PGA TOUR players, caddies and their families. He organizes the tournament with meticulously managed brackets that advance the winner of the best two out of three matches.  Scott Verplank became the Words With Friends tournament's inaugural champion. 

Now in its third year, Steve’s homegrown tournament has expanded to 64 participants including more PGA TOUR players, friends and family as well as a few other pro athletes. Each year, competition gets tougher as tournament players spell their way towards the annual championship title, bragging rights, and a venerable spot on Steve’s Words With Friends PGA TOUR tournament plaque.  Their most played golf word?  Tee.

As the 2013 tournament comes to an end, we want to recognize Steve and all the players of the Words With Friends PGA TOUR tournament by honoring this year’s winner with a special donation. In partnership with Words With Friends, Zynga.org will donate $10,000 to The First Tee in the name of the 2013 tournament winner, Brian Sullivan. 

The First Tee is an international youth development organization that uses golf as a vehicle to build character in young people ages 7-18.  The PGA TOUR partners with The First Tee, supporting its local chapters by hosting fund-raising events, donating auction items and occasionally serving as a venue for local programs.  Zynga.org’s donation will be used to implement The First Tee DRIVE (Develops Rewarding Inspiring Values for Everyone) in four locations in San Francisco.

“We’re always inspired by the way players find ways to connect and compete in Words With Friends,” said Abhinav Agrawal, General Manager of Words With Friends at Zynga. “Words With Friends is a game defined by smart, social, and competition, and tournaments certainly embody all three of those qualities.  We congratulate Brian Sullivan on his second consecutive championship, and wish Steve and all PGA TOUR participants the best of luck during their next tournament in 2014.”

Words With Friends is a word-building game by Zynga that challenges players to create the highest-scoring words while playing against friends, family, or random opponents. Launched in July 2009, and recently named by Apple as the #1 free game of all time, Words With Friends remains one of the most popular games in the App Store. Words With Friends is available to download for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, as well as Google Play, Facebook, Amazon Kindle Fire, and Barnes and Noble NOOK.

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