RUSH: So yesterday was the annual charity golf tournament that Ernie Els puts on. I think it’s his fifth or sixth, maybe seventh year now. I’ve been to all of them. And he, way back in the founding days of this, set up a foundation called Els for Autism, he and his wife Liezl did. They have an autistic son. It has become one of the most incredible endeavors.
I talked to him yesterday, and I said, “Did you ever envision –” I mean, they’re breaking ground building a school now here in south Florida for children with autism, and they’re doing some really great work. They’ve got golf tournaments all over the country year round, it’s incredible, and that’s just one of the things they’re doing. I played with Rickie Fowler, by the way, Rickie Fowler was our pro, and I had one of the most horrible days in a competitive round of golf I have ever had.
My hand-eye coordination just wasn’t the there. When that’s not there, there’s no fix for that. And for those of you who play the game, this is how bad it was. The caddie said, “You know what, maybe you want to swing harder.” The rule of thumb is — (laughing) The caddie said, “You know what, you’re jerking it from the top, slow down. Tempo, tempo, tempo.” This guy was telling me to speed it up, and it did help.
But it was a fun day all the way around. I met a lot of great people. Dennis Eckersley, great relief pitcher for the Red Sox and the Oakland A’s, he and his wife were there. The place was loaded. Every golf pro you can imagine was there. They’ve had such great turnout for it over the years. I mean, Ernie, I’m gonna tell you, Ernie told me yesterday he never envisioned it getting as big as it is, and he was just so grateful for all the pros. I mean, they had a tournament Sunday down in Miami that just wrapped up and practically all of them were up here for the thing yesterday, and he was very moved by that.
And I said, “Well, that’s a testament to you.” It’s just a great event to be a part of and it’s got demonstrable impact that it is making on a condition that affects millions of Americans. They’ve got an autistic son and they’re actually making great strides in dealing with it. The co-sponsor is one of my best friends, the shot maker, Marvin Shanken, who is Ernie’s partner in this golf tournament and in many other things. Marvin started the magazine Cigar Aficionado and branched out to Wine Spectator. They’re now lifestyle magazines and they’re fantastic.
It was a good day, even though I played horribly. You never want to play horribly, but there was enough going on out there that — Mayor Giuliani was in our foursome, as is always the case. So it was Rudy and Marvin and me and Rickie Fowler, who was great. He was in the cart with Marvin so you figured, okay, he’ll be helping Marvin. He’d read Marvin’s putts. He was helping all of us. He was a really gracious and nice guy, as is most everybody in professional golf. So it was a fun day, and that’s what was going on.