Donald & McIlroy help give underprivileged kids taste of golf life

MEDINAH, Ill. - Noted oenophile and former world number one, Luke Donald, was in town last week for his annual fundraiser - Taste of the First Tee.

The ex-Northwestern star hosted a wine tasting at Medinah featuring wine from his own collection.

Over eight years, Donald and company have raised nearly two million dollars to benefit The First Tee of Greater Chicago.

"Really create some great programs within the First Tee of Chicago for these young kids that don't have a chance to be exposed to the game of golf and learn some of it's core values," noted Donald. "Some inner city kids and some other kids - just give them a little bit more of a chance through golf which is obviously a big passion of mine."

You could say the same for Luke's guest for the evening, Rory McIlroy.

Returning to Medinah was head-spinning for him after Europe's dramatic Ryder Cup win there four years ago.

With this year's competition about to happen in Minnesota, Rory's visit was kind of a jump-start.

"For a European it doesn't get much better than that." smiled McIlroy. "I think that Sunday here at Medinah was probably the most enjoyable day in my golf career because as a European team to all of a sudden to go from looking like we're going to lose pretty easily to sort of 'Okay, actually we can maybe win this' to 'Wow, I can't believe we just pulled that off.' Once I drove through the gates here this afternoon all those memories came sort of rushing back to me. It's pretty cool to be back."

"We really get up for it. We love it. There's a great sense of team when it comes to Europe," Donald remarked. "Just the tour in itself, the European Tour, is very set up that way. We tend to stay in the same hotel when we play in Europe. We have good friendships and good bonds. The Ryder Cup really brings that out, especially during that week."

If you want to support the cause, visit www.thefirstteegreaterchicago.org.