FOR MANNING, A GOLF TOUR WITH A PURPOSE
"On Sunday, 79-year-old Pat Browne Jr. won the Corcoran Cup– known as the
“Masters of Blind Golf”–held annually at Mount Kisco Country Club in Westchester
County in New York.
It was the 24th time he had won it.
The two-day event, which benefits Guiding Eyes for the Blind, has been
hosted by Giants quarterback Eli Manning for the past six years and has raised
more than $10 million since its inception in 1978. The money allow the nonprofit
school to breed and train its guide dogs and partner them with the visually
impaired, the blind and children with autism. (Guiding Eyes places more than 180
dogs annually around the country.)
Manning became involved with Guiding Eyes as a favor to Browne, a longtime
Manning family friend, and has since championed the organization’s mission.
“These people and their families are able to lead normal lives because of the
Guiding Eyes dogs,” Manning said on Monday. “Whether it’s at their job or in
their personal life, or even for the parents of autistic children now able to
adjust easier with an animal by their side, it makes it so worthwhile for me to
Long before losing his vision as a result of an automobile accident in 1966,
Browne, who like Manning is from New Orleans, was an exceptional high school
athlete, lettering in both basketball and golf. He attended Tulane University,
where he was the captain of the school’s men’s basketball and golf teams.
Browne’s competitive spirit was not diminished by the loss of his vision. “I
had never even heard of such a thing as a blind golfer,” he said on Sunday. “My
original goal was to play with friends on the weekends, but once I learned that
there were others like me out there, the idea that I could compete again was too
powerful to ignore.”
He retired in 2010 after almost 50 years as a practicing lawyer and banking
Browne said he listened to all of Manning’s games, and that he wondered why
New Yorkers had not always been supportive of their quarterback.
“I remember playing golf at Winged Foot with [Manning] before he won that
first Super Bowl, I thought people were sort of rude to him,” Browne said. “Now,
when we play together, everyone falls all over him, and they surely better. Eli
is not only a winner, he’s a fine young man.”