FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Ernie Els finished up at The Barclays and hung around Long Island for a golf tournament equally important to him.
Els, a regular in the fabled Pro-Member at Seminole Golf Club in Florida, wanted to start something similar to help raise money for ''Els for Autism'' and the $30 million Autism Center for Excellence he is building in South Florida.
He hooked up with Ogden Phipps II at Deepdale Golf Club to stage the first of what he hopes is an annual event.
''The members are paying quite a bit of money to play, and all that money goes to autism in my foundation,'' Els said.
Els arranged for 40 professionals to play, from the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour, a group that included Cliff Kresge, who also has an autistic son. The players did not receive any money to play.
''The neat thing about this day is that it's great for these players to meet some of the members,'' Els said. ''These are the movers and shakers of Manhattan and a lot of big corporations. Not only is it beneficial to us, it could be beneficial to them. You have a good day with one of the guys, you never know what might happen. All in all, it's very positive.''
The event was supposed to be played last year after The Barclays until a hurricane got in the way, forcing a Saturday finish and chasing everyone from the area. The timing of the tournament makes perfect sense.
The Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston doesn't start until Friday, and Els scheduled a mid-morning shotgun start so players could finish early and either head into the city or go to the U.S. Open tennis.
''Deepdale has a great history, very much like Seminole,'' Els said. ''Not just anybody can rock up and play Deepdale. It's very exclusive. It's near the city and the members are the top of the top. I think it's good for everybody.''
Els said he staged a corporate day with sponsor RBC at Deepdale and several members showed up.
''They're golf nuts,'' he said. ''They're good guys.''
PGA AWARD: The PGA of America has a points-based award for player of the year, and it looks as if it is coming down to Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
McIlroy is leading with 78 points (10 points for the Honda Classic, 30 points for the PGA Championship, second in money and scoring), with Woods at 68 points (10 points for each of his three tour wins, leading money and second in scoring).
That could change in the next three tournaments, depending on how they fare in the rest of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Woods is ineligible to win the Vardon Trophy because he withdrew in the middle of a round at Doral, when his Achilles tendon was hurting. He still gets credit in the Vardon Trophy standings for purposes of the PGA player award.
Because of the incomplete round, Woods is docked .10 points from his adjusted average, meaning his scoring average would be 69.12. McIlroy is at 69.11.
RIO IN 2015: Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson said officials expect to break ground on the Olympic course in Rio this fall, keeping it on schedule for the 2016 and for what he called a ''test event'' prior to the Olympics.
NO TRIP FOR KIDS: Paul Lawrie has gone 13 years without playing in the Ryder Cup, the second-longest gap ever in the Ryder Cup. He is 43 and has two sons, 17-year-old Craig and 13-year-old Michael, both of them promising golfers.
But they won't be making the trip to Chicago for the matches. Lawrie and his wife, Marian, are going alone.
Lawrie said his oldest son is about to start a golf management degree in Dornoch, while his younger son will be going back to school in Aberdeen.
''For me, it's not an environment for a 13-year-old boy to be at,'' Lawrie told Press Association. ''We both felt it's so busy, you're not going to see anything and if Marian is walking with another wife, who's going to look after the boys behind the ropes?''
His only other Ryder Cup was in 1999 at The Country Club, before one of the most unruly crowds.
DIVOTS: Keegan Bradley failed to win a major this year, but he still gets to defend his title in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda. Bradley was selected as an alternate when PGA champion Rory McIlroy decided not to go because the dates (Oct. 22-24) clash with the BMW Masters in Shanghai, where McIlroy is the defending champion. Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els are expected to play in Bermuda. ... Tim Clark has eight straight seasons of at least one runner-up finish. ... One of the longer player-caddie stints came to an end when Stewart Cink decided to part ways with Frank Williams.
FINAL WORD: ''I was sure hopeful, but I only had a 2-inch vertical. It was a short career. I chose the right sport for my foot speed.'' - Four-time major champion Meg Mallon, who grew up with aspirations of playing basketball.
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