A pole-vaulter outgrows her pole and cannot afford a new one.

A high school wrestling team doesn't have the money to compete out-of-town.

A YMCA gym needs to be renovated.

The parents of aspiring baseball, softball, soccer and football players don't have the money for registration fees and equipment.

In all of those cases and many more - totaling $22 million since 1962 - the Tucson Conquistadores have stepped up to help.

The Conquistadores, a non-profit group of local businesspeople, come up with most of that money by putting on the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. This year's tournament, which includes the world's top 64 golfers, takes place next week at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain.

Long story short, if you buy tickets and enjoy an outdoor day of February fun, you'll be supporting children's sports programs in Southern Arizona.

Did we mention that includes Special Olympics, youth golf and the Boys & Girls Clubs?

Judy McDermott, executive director of the Conquistadores, said the group serves as a sort of booster club for youth sports, donating dollars both big and small.

Sports ranging from wheelchair weightlifting to rodeo and from handball to in-line hockey have benefited from the generosity of golf fans.

The golf tournament is an economic engine for tourism, filling hotel rooms, restaurants and rental cars. Hours of international TV coverage prime the pump for even more visitors in winters to come. Then, after the pros and their fans go home, the tournament continues paying a bonus to young local athletes.

Thanks to the Conquistadores for leading the effort to keep this triple-crown winner in Tucson.

Arizona Daily Star

Tourney guide

Look in Sunday's Star for our special 22-page guide to the tournament.