Local children's charities win big on 17th hole


PONTE VEDRA, Fla. – From Jaguars Coach Gus Bradley to LPGA member Paige MacKenzie to News4Jax Sports Director Sam Kouvaris, local celebrities took a swing on the famous 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course on Wednesday to benefit more than a dozen area children's charities.

Each charity selected a celebrity or representative to take a shot at the famous Island Green, with the person who ended up closest to the pin in Round 1 earning a $10,000 donation for that organization; the winner of Round 2 earned $5,000 for their organization.

The big winner was the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund.  Curtis Dvorak, playing as Jaguars mascot Jaxson de Ville, got the ball closest to the pin, 4' 9", earning his charity a $10,000 donation. 

Coming in second was Web.com Tour Player Jeff Klauk, who earned $5,000 for his charity, the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida.  In the first round, Klauk was 11' 3", but in a second round shoot-out for 2nd place, Klauk's shot was within 3' 5" of the pin.

Curtis Dvorak, dressed as his alter ego Jaxson de Ville, won the closest to the pin contest, earning $10,000 for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund.
Curtis Dvorak, dressed as his alter ego Jaxson de Ville, won the closest to the pin contest, earning $10,000 for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund.

Sam's tee shot went right over the flag stick before stopping on the back of the green 27' 7" from the hole.  

Bradley's shots went into the water, while quarterback Blake Bortles' ball did hit the green but was 47' 7" away from the hole.

"This is way more nerve-wracking than football," Bortles said. "I'm not really good at golf and it's really quiet. They can probably hit you with something if they threw it. It's definitely more nerve wracking."

Those who participated Wednesday included:

  • Boselli Foundation (winner in 2014)  - Tony Boselli, former Jacksonville Jaguar
  • Epilepsy Foundation of Florida - Jeff Klauk, Web.com Tour Player
  • Junior Achievement - Sam Kouvaris, Sports Director, News4Jax
  • St. Vincents HealthCare Foundation - Len Mattiace, PGA TOUR member
  • Take Stock in Children – Brent Martineau, Sports Director, Fox30/CBS47
  • The First Tee – Charles Raulerson, Former PGA TOUR Member; President of Sole Golf Mgmt.
  • Dreams Come True & Kaye's Kids – Blake Bortles, Quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – Gary Williams, Golf Channel commentator
  • The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation – Gus Bradley, Head Coach, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • K9s for Warriors – Bob Duval, Former PGA TOUR Member; Founder K9s for Warriors
  • True Blue Navy Benefactors – Brian Riddle, Resident Golf Professional, TPC Sawgrass
  • Wolfson Children's Hospital – Josh Scobee, Kicker, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • HandsOn Jacksonville – Paige MacKenzie, LPGA member, Golf Channel commentator
  • Tom Coughlin Jay Fund – Curtis Dvorak, aka Jaxson de Ville
  • MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation – Mal Washington, Former Tennis Champion