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
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
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.
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
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
“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.
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