Englishman David Howell secured a donation of £71,675 for the Alzheimer’s Society from title sponsor BMW with a hole-in-one on the par three 14th hole during his second round of the BMW PGA Championship, the third Rolex Series event of 2020.
The former Ryder Cup player, winner of the BMW PGA Championship in 2006, holed his seven iron tee shot from 184 yards to earn the latest charitable contribution as part of the European Tour’s Golf for Good initiative, which underpins the 2020 season.
The donation from BMW, which is the value of the BMW 530e Touring displayed next to the 14th tee box, will benefit the Alzheimer’s Society which is the Official Charity of the BMW PGA Championship for the second consecutive year.
“It was playing downwind, so it was a standard seven-iron for me,” said Howell, who signed for a four under par round of 68. “It came out beautifully, right out of the middle of the club, maybe two yards left of where I was aiming if I was going to be honest but a really lovely shot and it was always going to be close. It was a bit hard to tell with the reaction from the cameraman and the stats guy what had happened but my caddie thought maybe it had gone in, but I wasn’t so sure so a very nice surprise when we got up there.
“It’s a lot of money to charity and it’s a great thing. We’re very lucky to be out here playing. We’re in the middle of a pandemic playing here in a Rolex Series event, and we’ve been very lucky to get back on Tour and go about our business.
“Golf for Good has been our initiative since we’ve been back and we want to give back where we can, so I’m very pleased that my seven-iron was able to do that in such a big way. It’s a lot of money to go to the charity as well, which is great, a very worth charity of course, and hopefully it will help a lot of people out.
“I was the last man into this field so there’s a bit of karma around, and I’m just delighted to be here. Today was a great day for me and to add to the history on this famous 14th hole at Wentworth in this amazing championship is a lovely thing for me.”
Alex Hyde-Smith, Director of Fundraising, Alzheimer’s Society said: “We’re delighted to see a hole-in-one was achieved today and that we will be receiving a donation from the BMW Hole-in-One Award prize. We’ve all been supporting the golfers from home, and are so grateful for this much-needed donation, particularly when people with dementia have been worst hit by coronavirus, accounting for over a quarter of all coronavirus deaths in the UK, with many carers also feeling isolated and unable to get respite.
“Every penny donated to us is vital to ensure we are there to support them when they need it most through services like our Dementia Connect Support Line, so that the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK don’t have to face this crisis alone. Thank you to BMW, European Tour and all our supporters.”