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Gary Player to Play in Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am

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Golf icon Gary Player has hailed the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am as an innovative way to help grow the game in China.

The nine-time Major winner will make his first appearance in the tournament when it is staged at Mission Hills Haikou on the tropical island of Hainan from 24-26 October 2014.

“It is going to be a real thrill to tee it up alongside the world-class group of celebrities and professionals that is set to gather for the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am,” said Player. “This will be my first year participating, but I am looking forward to competing at this wonderful resort.”

The guest list for the eagerly-awaited week of golf, glamour and gala events includes Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Nicole Kidman, fellow Hollywood superstars Chris Evans and Jessica Alba, and best-selling music maestro Kenny G.

Aside from Player, top golfers appearing at Mission Hills Haikou include Europe’s recent Ryder Cup heroes Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and Paul McGinley, and Major winners Greg Norman, John Daly, Darren Clarke, Ian Woosnam and Rich Beem.

A strong line-up of top female professionals will be led by women’s world No.4 Suzann Pettersen.

Player believes the attractive mixture of show business and sport is perfect for showcasing golf to a wider audience in the world’s most populous country.

“Golf continues to grow by leaps and bounds in China, but events like the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am are just fantastic to introduce more and more people to this great game as 24 professional golfers and 24 celebrities come together for this event that is a great combination of golf and entertainment,” he said.

It will be the third edition of the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am and Player will be the most decorated golfer to have taken part so far.

The South African’s achievements both on and off the course are legendary. One of golf’s “Big Three” – together with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer – he completed a career Grand Slam of all four Majors before his 30th birthday and his total of nine Major victories came in a span of 19 years from 1959-78.

Renowned for his dedication to health and fitness, he continued to enjoy extraordinary success into his 50s and beyond, winning nine senior Majors and becoming the only golfer in history to complete a career Grand Slam on both the regular and senior tours.

In addition, he holds records as the oldest player ever to make the cut at the Open Championship and the Masters.

Player is also a renowned golf course architect with over 325 design projects throughout the world while his charity, The Player Foundation, has built schools in South Africa and has raised more than US$50 million for impoverished children.

“We are delighted that Gary Player, a true icon of global sport, is joining our World Celebrity Pro-Am and his presence both on and off the golf course will add even greater impact to the event,” said Mission Hills Group Chairman and CEO, Dr. Ken Chu. “Gary’s achievements in golf and beyond have made him a revered figure and we are certain that golf fans in China are greatly looking forward to seeing him, and all our other celebrities and golfers, in action at Mission Hills Haikou in two weeks’ time.”

In total, participants in this year’s star-spangled World Celebrity Pro-Am have collected more than 160 acting awards, over 100 music awards, 35 Olympic and World Championship medals and a staggering 335 professional golf victories, including 17 Majors.

Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund for its conservation programmes and efforts to protect endangered species.

See also: Hyatt Open 2014 in Hua Hin (Thailand) Raises Over 1.1 Million Baht

See other recent news regarding: Interviews, Pictures, Videos, Golf, Mission Hills, Hainan

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