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PGA TOUR players recognized by President Obama for commitment to giving back

PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem (C) with members from The Presidents Cup 2013 teams are honored during a program and reception hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House on June 24. The President served as Honorary Chairman of the 2009 and 2013 events.
(Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

July 1, 2014

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla.- On Tuesday, June 24, the 2013 United States and International Presidents Cup teams were honored by President Barack Obama with a ceremony and reception at the White House. President Obama talked, not only about the competition and the sportsmanship displayed by the competitors, but also on the impact they are having in support of charitable endeavors.

Here are some of President Obama's comments:

We want to say thank you to both teams and to the PGA TOUR, because as was already pointed out by the Commissioner, the money raised by The Presidents Cup goes to charities chosen by the players.   Last year, you raised more than $5 million, which was a new record.

It happens that philanthropy is a second job for many of these players.  Ernie’s “Els for Autism” foundation just broke ground on a new children’s education center in Florida.  And I was mentioning to Ernie that families who have an autistic child couldn’t be more thankful for the work that his foundation does, and the education and awareness that it’s brought about.  Zach Johnson, with his foundation, supports a free clinic in Zach’s hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Through the “Blessings in a Backpack” program, Jason Dufner and his wife, Amanda, help make sure the kids in their home state of Alabama have enough to eat.  The Tiger Woods Foundation creates learning centers and scholarships to help low-income young people succeed in school.  And they’re holding a tournament in Maryland this Thursday, and Tiger is getting back to the course early in order to host it in person.  So the list goes on.

All of these guys are giving back to their respective communities.  And we want to thank them for being such outstanding ambassadors for golf, who use their success not just on the course, but also to support worthy causes off the course.  I want to congratulate Team USA on another big win.  Best of luck as you defend the title in South Korea next year. 

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