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Nedbank Golf Challenge: Ernie Els Won for South Africa, Now He’s Giving Back

In 2006 he merged his charity with a foundation spearheaded by Hasso Plattner, co-founder of software giant SAP and owner of Fancourt Golf Estate in South Africa, to form the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation. There are currently 13 boys and four girls in the program.

So far, 124 golfers have received membership. Els explained his inspiration for giving back was quite simple: He recognized his good fortune to come from a family with the resources to send him overseas to compete and find out how good he was.

“I’ve seen friends of mine who had as much talent as myself and they didn’t make it because they didn’t have the opportunity to test their game on a bigger stage,” Els said. Louis Oosthuizen, ranked No. 23 in the world, was the ninth member of Els’ foundation and Exhibit A for what Els hoped to achieve.

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Els, center, and his foundation helped launch the careers of Branden Grace, left, ranked No. 42 in the world, and Louis Oosthuizen, ranked No. 23 in the world.

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David Cannon/Getty Images

Oosthuizen said it would have been impossible for his father, a…

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