MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- New York Giants star Quarterback Eli Manning returned to the Mount Kisco Country Club for his ninth time on Monday in connection with a major fundraiser for the group Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Manning’s appearance came following Sunday’s Corcoran Cup, which has been likened to the blind-golfing equivalent of The Masters. The country club, which straddles Mount Kisco and New Castle, hosted the cup.
Manning said he is “really excited about being here again” before noting the good weather and saying that money is being raised “for a good cause.”
This year’s winner is Zohar Sharon, who is from Israel. Sharon, whose biography notes was previously a sniper with the IDF, made several putts before a gathering of reporters and came close multiple times to getting a hole in one. Manning followed with two of his own while wearing a blindfold.
“I get to cheat a little bit,” Manning said at a press conference, referencing being able to putt after Sharon. However, he noted that his performance was still “way off.”
This year appeared to be an end of an era, as Patrick Browne Jr., a family friend of Manning’s who has participated in the Corcoran Cup in the past, was not involved. At the press conference, Manning said that Browne, now in his 80’s, “had a great run.” He also said that Browne was a “great role model” for so many people.
Manning did not know Sharon prior to Monday but praised him for his win, calling it a “great victory.”
Michael Leventhal, executive director of Israel Guide Dog Center For The Blind, took questions for Sharon and acted as an interpreter. Regarding Sharon’s reaction to winning, Leventhal said he “enjoyed very much” the opportunity to play for Guiding Eyes. Sharon has had two guide dogs from Leventhal’s organization.
Manning also took several football-related questions. At one point, Manning was asked about the impending expiration of his playing contract with the Giants – he is heading into his sixth and final year – and replied that there have not been any talks.
On the contract matter, Manning said that his focus is on playing football and winning games, concluding, “whatever happens after that, happens after that.”
Manning was also asked about a controversial sports-news story, which is about whether or not NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should recuse himself from New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady’s suspension appeal in connection with the deflated-footballs allegations surrounding January’s AFC Championship game. Manning declined to weigh in, citing his lack of involvement in the matter and not being up to date on it.
Thomas Panek, who is CEO of Guiding Eyes and lives in South Salem, was pleased with this year’s fundraising in connection with the Corcoran Cup, calling it “excellent.”
This year is the 38th for the group’s involvement. Guiding Eyes, which is based in Yorktown Heights, provides service dogs for people with visual impairments or autism