The 2018 Ian Leonard Bad Pants Open presented by Treasure Island Resort & Casino was held on Tuesday, September 18 at Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove. The Bad Pants Open is an 18-hole, five-some scramble format benefiting PGA REACH Minnesota and Special Olympics Minnesota. The motto of the event is “Bad Pants for a Great Cause.” Every golfer is encouraged to wear their best “bad” pants, knickers, kilt or skirt!
Since 2013, the Bad Pants Open has raised over $380,000 for under-served athletes involved with Special Olympics Minnesota and PGA REACH Minnesota golf programming.
“I am so proud of this event and what it has done over the years,” said FOX9 Chief Meteorologist and Tournament Host Ian Leonard. “The money raised has helped grow the great game of golf in Minnesota through the Special Olympics Minnesota golf program and PGA REACH Minnesota. 21 years ago, Special Olympics asked me for a favor and I said yes. Since that day, I have laughed, cried and celebrated life with thousands of Special Olympics athletes and their families. Special Olympics is more than sports; it is a movement. A movement about inclusion, where we no longer look at what makes us different but instead focus on each other as people.”
The day also included a 9-hole pro-am featuring Minnesota PGA Professionals and Special Olympics athletes, a golf skills clinic with the athletes, a live raffle and complimentary lunch and dinner for participants.
Last year’s event featured a hole-in-one from one of the Special Olympics athletes, Erik, in what was the highlight of the day for not only him, but all involved with the event.
“I thought I’d never get one,” Erik said reminiscing on last year. “I was just lucky. I hit the ball with an 8-iron and thought it was going way over. All the sudden, my PGA Pro told me I had gotten a hole-in-one, and I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I didn’t even see it go in. I still can’t believe I did it.”
Leonard added, “The Bad Pants Open is all about experiences such as the one Erik had last year. Moments like these are truly what makes this event unique. We encourage anyone interested in participating to help us create memories like Erik’s that will last a lifetime.”
This year, the Ian Leonard Bad Pants Open raised over $60,000 for PGA REACH Minnesota and Special Olympics Minnesota.
PGA REACH Minnesota is the charitable arm of the Minnesota PGA. The mission of PGA REACH Minnesota is to enable access to the game of golf utilizing PGA Professionals to positively impact the lives of youth, military, and diverse populations with an emphasis on inclusion.
Special Olympics Minnesota offers 8,200 children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and competition. Through Special Olympics’ athletic, health and leadership programs, people with intellectual disabilities transform themselves, their communities and the world. Special Olympics Minnesota is recognized as a premier organization providing essential life skills opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.