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On a soggy Sunday Stephan Jaeger was declared the winner of the rain-shortened BMW Charity Pro-Am.

But another winner emerged too: Furman University.

For the first time, the Furman Golf Club joined the storied tournament as one of three host sites. The others were the Thornblade Club and the Preserve at Verdae.

And while the attendance numbers won’t be available until later this week, 48,500 (more than the population of nearby Spartanburg) turned out for the four-day tournament last year. And more than 3 million viewed the event last year on the Golf Channel which broadcast the Pro-Am during primetime.

While Sunday’s inclement weather may have put a dent in attendance this year, tournament officials say the television viewership should be about the same.

It’s hard to put an advertising value on that kind of coverage, but the event certainly helps the university expand its national reputation. And by all accounts, the university and the Furman Golf Club made a great first impression.

“All of the players said they loved the Furman course. It got a lot of rave reviews,” said Becky Vuksta, Furman’s director of auxiliary services who played a big role in organizing the tournament. “Everyone loved the way they were treated.”

In accepting the BMW Charity Pro-Am trophy, Jaeger also gave the course kudos.

Since 2001, nearly 150 celebrities have participated in the Pro-Am including actors Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and Dennis Quaid. This year’s headliners included Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers, comedian Larry the Cable Guy and former major league baseball players Paul O’Neill, Russ Ortiz, Tim Wakefield and Chipper Jones.

The tournament is managed by the non-profit organization South Carolina Charities, Inc. and has donated over $12 million to more than 200 charities since the tournament’s inception.

<br/.,br/>BMW Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament

Last updated May 23, 2017
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director