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Photos: Special Olympics Columbus Day Drive

Golf tournament at Marbella Country Club raises big bucks for special athletes.

Golfers, in the spirit of giving, hit the links at the Marbella Golf and Country Club Monday afternoon.  

Hanging around the "opportunity" hole, it was clear that participants were prepared to pull their wallets out of their golf bags for the Special Olympics Orange County.  

"It costs $500 to support one athlete for a year," said John Clark, as he asked each golfer to sponsor two athletes. The money raised covers transportation, uniforms and equipment.

The Southern California State Championships will take place the weekend of Dec. 8-9.  About 1,100 athletes and 3,000 volunteers and guests expected to attend.

The team of Paul D'Epagneir, Pancho Edler, Jim Hodge and John Itzel won first place in the tourney. But the true winners of the Ninth Annual Columbus Day Drive were the Special Olympics athletes.

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