Ernie Els: A father's love

Published 1634 GMT (0034 HKT) April 24, 2012
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Ernie Els is most famous for his golfing exploits, but as his career reaches its twilight years he is focusing on a cause dear to his heart. Getty Images
The former world No. 1swings his son Ben over his shoulder during the fourth annual Els for Autism Pro-Am charity golf tournament, held in March 2012. Getty Images
Ben, seen here at another fundraising tournament in 2010, was diagnosed with autism when he was four years old. Getty Images
Now nine, the youngster still struggles to speak and attends a specialist school in Florida. He is pictured here with his father in their former home in England in 2003. Getty Images
Els often returns to his native South Africa for vacations with his wife Liezl, Ben and daughter Samantha. He has invested heavily in the Cape region where he grew up, opening a golf foundation for disadvantaged youngsters, a wine and restaurant business and a resort. Getty Images
Els (pictured with Liezl with Ben in 2011) says he has met some families with three autistic children and admitted it would be "one of the hardest things in the world." Getty Images