PRIOR LAKE, Minn. —The Vikings immerse themselves in the community numerous each year, holding events both big and small that impact the state of Minnesota.
But the annual Vikings Foundation Golf Tournament continues to be a highlight for the organization, both as one of the highest-grossing events of the year and also as a fun event for all involved.
The 27th annual tournament was held Wednesday at The Meadows at Mystic Lake golf course for the second straight year. The event raised $135,000, all of which goes to various Minnesota Vikings philanthropic efforts.
Brett Taber, the Director of Youth Marketing and Social Responsibility, said the organization looks forward to this event every summer.
"This is definitely one of the most fun events that we do as an organization each year," Taber said. "Not only is our whole team getting out on the golf course with our great community sponsors, but this is an opportunity to raise a lot of money for a great cause.
"All the proceeds go toward Minnesota Vikings philanthropic efforts so this highlights all the non-profit work we do in the community," Taber added.
More than 50 Vikings players and coaches turned out for the event, along with front office staff including General Manager Rick Spielman.
Current players such as safety Harrison Smith, cornerback Terence Newman, tackle Riley Reiff, tight end Kyle Rudolph, wide receiver Adam Thielen and wide receiver Michael Floyd all participated in the event.
Former Vikings Robert Smith, Greg Coleman, Doug Sutherland, Brooks Bollinger, John Henderson, Tyrone Carter and Rickey Young also participated.
Vikings players said they circle the fun-filled tournament on their calendars as a nice change of pace from Organized Team Activity practices.
"It's nice (the tournament) gets thrown in with OTAs," Smith said. "It's doing something with the team and the staff outside of the football arena.
"And I had a great group, so the guys I played with were awesome," Smith added.
And while the purpose of the event is to raise money for good causes, there is also a competitive aspect between players.
Although Vikings running back Latavius Murray was playing golf for the first time, he wanted to make a good impression on his group, which included defensive end Everson Griffen.
"I've been to a driving range once and then obviously gone to putt-putt, but this was my first time on a golf course. It's been a bit of a struggle," Murray said with a smile. "If you do one thing wrong, it messes everything up.
"You have to do so much to hit the perfect shot," Murray added. "The first time I had a good shot I was talking some junk to Ev."
Murray said the highlight of his day was draining a lengthy birdie putt on the 12th green.
"It was probably the best putt of the day," Murray said. "I didn't see any others, but I guarantee it was the best putt of the day."
Key sponsors for the tournament included Mystic Lake, MillerCoors, Pepsi, and Unilever.
The corporate team from Grand Casino won on a scorecard tiebreaker. They tied with GameDay Sports as each group shot a 59 in the scramble-style tournament.