Charity golf event headlined by John Daly tees off at Grand Falls

After meeting with local leaders last year, John Daly realized Sioux Falls would be the perfect setting for a golf outing for Heart of a Lion.
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 5:51 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A full week of golf is on the schedule leading up to the Sanford International in Sioux Falls. The tournament brings some of the sport’s most popular competitors, and one got away Tuesday to help raise awareness and funds for a good cause.

John Daly was the headliner out at Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort for the Heart of a Lion Classic. It’s something new to the area, but one Daly hopes will become a familiar outing. Hosting an event in the Sioux Falls area is something Daly has wanted to do for a few years. After meeting with local leaders last year, he realized it would be the perfect setting for a golf outing for Heart of a Lion.

“We started really about two and a half years ago. I said that we need to get a John Daly-Major Ed tournament out here. Last year, I was involved with the Mayor and the Chief and helped them out, and said that we need to turn this into a Heart of a Lion event. It’s just been awesome.” Daly said.

Ed Pulido, a retired Major from the United States Army and the other founder of Heart of a Lion, lost his leg fighting in Iraq. He said Heart of a Lion provides physical and wellness support for children, first responders and veterans.

“At the John Daly-Major Ed Heart of a Lion, it’s about mental, physical and wellness support to all of those individuals we want to support in these local communities that we are serving and doing events.” Pulido said.

The two wanted Mayor Paul TenHaken and Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum to act as hosts with them for the event, as a way to show support for the event. It’s something that TenHaken was more than on board for.

“Any time a guy like John Daly says, ‘I want to put on a tournament in your community, and I want to raise awareness and funds for vets, first responders and kids,’ it’s hard to say no to that.” TenHaken said.

The event at Grand Falls is expected to bring in at least $50,000 from groups that registered to play, as well as some funds coming from an auction. Thum said it’s an honor to be a part of the event, and to keep the mood light with his golf game.

“When I became Police Chief, I didn’t think that maybe I’d be golfing someday as part of that. The reason I’m here is to make other people feel better about their golf game. Because my golf game is pretty poor.” Thum said.

Daly said they hope to make this event more than just a one-off thing. He said they hope to grow it into something annual, and get even more people involved from the area.