COLUMBIA — Amateur golfers played side by side with professionals in the Rainbow House Golf Classic to help support Columbia youth.
The proceeds from Monday's tournament at the Country Club of Missouri are donated to Rainbow House, an emergency shelter for abused and neglected children in Columbia.
Chad McMinn, development director of the Rainbow House, organized this year’s tournament.
“It’s another way we can give members of the community an enjoyable day with a pro and just something that’s out of the ordinary to thank them for their support,” McMinn said.
To support the cause, PGA golf pros Andres Gonzales and Jim Renner, who play on the Web.com Tour, were happy to work this tournament into their schedules. They were two of eight pros taking part in the event.
"We do charity events from time to time,” said Renner, who turned pro in 2007. “A lot of it depends on time and scheduling and whatnot. But there are certainly ones that you like to come out and support. This is one of them.”
Gonzalez turned pro in 2006 and is ranked fifth this week among the money leaders on the Web.com Tour.
“Being in the public eye, I think we should use what we have to benefit whoever it may be,” Gonzales said.
Amateurs pay $5,000 to play and are grouped into teams of four and assigned a pro. Columbia retiree Larry Gross has been participating in the tournament for more than 15 years.
“It’s fun playing with these pros,” Gross said. “We get to see the things they do with a golf ball that we can only dream of.”
McMinn said he expects this year’s tournament to raise more than $50,000 for Rainbow House.
"We help thousands of children every year,” McMinn said. “Without these events and without the community’s support, we wouldn’t be able to serve nearly the amount of youth that we serve.”