U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
ALS hits close to home for 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson. So, it was no surprise to see him take the "Ice Bucket Challenge" over the weekend to raise awareness for the disease.
By T.J. Auclair, Senior Interactive Producer
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, August 18, 2014 | 8:34 a.m.

By now, you've surely heard of the "Ice Bucket Challenge."

If you haven't, here's the skinny: It's an act that has taken over social media of late, where people take video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their head to raise awareness -- and money -- for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Along with dumping a bucket of ice water on their head, people who partake in the challenge donate a small sum of money to ALS research. They then nominate others to take the challenge. Should the nominees fail to complete the challenge within 24 hours, they're supposed to donate a larger sum (typically $100) to ALS research.

RELATED: Tom Watson's latest Captain's Blog | Pro golfers and the Ice Bucket Challenge

Over the weekend, 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson got in on the challenge. ALS hits close to home for Watson. He lost his great friend and longtime caddie Bruce Edwards to the disease in 2004.

You can watch Watson and wife Hilary's video here:

 

Pretty cool there that Watson nominated his entire U.S. team to take the challenge. Expect more fun, creative videos to come all in the name of a great cause.

According to a story in the New York Times on Sunday, the "Ice Bucket Challenge" has raised a whole lot of money for ALS:

People have shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and Aug. 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29, according to those sites. Donations to the ALS Association have spiked. As of Sunday, the association said it had received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. It said there were about 260,000 new donors. (With a spate of celebrities and business executives joining in over the past few days and pledging contributions, that number is expected to rise.)

The article also says roughly 30,000 Americans now have the disease, which attacks nerve cells and ultimately leads to total paralysis, though the mind remains sharp. Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis. 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.