THE PLAYERS hosts 17th Hole Charity Challenge

Local celebrities tee off for charity


TPC Sawgrass hosted THE PLAYERS’ annual 17th Hole Charity Challenge for charities that benefit from THE PLAYERS earlier this week.

Held Monday on the 17th hole’s iconic island green, the event raised $15,000 for organizations supported by a lineup of participating celebrities. Former PGA Tour player Bob Duval took the gold in the form of a $10,000 check donation for K9s for Warriors in the first round with a ball that landed just 11 feet from the pin. The second round winner, Frank Lickliter, scored a $5,000 donation for True Blue Navy Benefactors with a swing that landed just one foot and 11 inches from the pin.

A total of 16 players took the green this year, including Clint Avret, Blake Bortles, Tony Boselli, Gus Bradley, Richie Bryant, Vince Covello, Todd Demsey, Bob Duval, Curtis Dvorak, Matt Every, Jeff Klauk, Frank Lickliter, Brent Martineau, John McManamon and Spencer Schindler. As former Jaguars player Josh Scobee was unable to attend, a representative made his swing on behalf of Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

Charities represented in the challenge included St. Vincent’s HealthCare Foundation, the Blake Bortles Foundation, the Boselli Foundation, the McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation, the North Florida Junior Golf Foundation, Junior Achievement, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, K9s for Warriors, the Tim Coughlin Jay Fund, Take Stock in Children, the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, True Blue Navy Benefactors, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the JT Townsend Foundation, The First Tee of North Florida and Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital.

A crowd of spectators, charity representatives and supporters surrounded the players on the green, where they each made their best shot for a chance to win donations for the charities they represented. For many charities present, the earnings weren’t the only prize.

“It’s terrific for all nonprofits because it gives visibility to these charities and the need for philanthropy,” said Jane Lanier, president of St. Vincent’s HealthCare Foundation.

Participants also made it clear that winning was secondary to generating support for First Coast residents in need.

“No organization is more giving than The Players,” Lanier said. “Through this event, they touch people by raising support and awareness for people and children who wouldn’t ordinarily have access to care.”