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Hollywood Superstars and Sporting Legends Heading to Mission Hills

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Hollywood superstars, sporting legends and golfing greats will converge on China in October for the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am.

The guest list for the eagerly-awaited week of golf, glamour and gala events reads like a Who’s Who of global show business and elite sporting endeavour.

Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Chris Evans and Nicole Kidman are being lined up to appear, and dazzling actress Jessica Alba is also confirmed to take part, as is music maestro Kenny G..

Sporting icons heading to the globally-televised World Celebrity Pro-Am include two Olympic legends, Russian ice skater Evgeni Plushenko, Chinese gymnast Li Ning, and former Portuguese international footballer Luís Figo.

China’s basketball legend and former NBA star Yao Ming will also take part in the tournament for the second time. The retired athlete remains one of the most influential sporting figures in China.

Top golfers confirmed for the tournament include reigning US Open champion Justin Rose, the flamboyant Ian Poulter, multiple Major winners Gary Player, Greg Norman and John Daly, and Europe’s 2014 Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley.

Other professional golfers confirmed to join the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am are Major winner Rich Beem and top female players Danielle Montgomery, Carly Booth, Joanna Klatten, Linda Wessberg, Caroline Martens, Sharmila Nicollet, Maria Balikoeva, Diana Luna and Lee-Anne Pace.

In total, participants in this year’s star-spangled event 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 15 Majors.

China’s entertainment industry will be well represented by film director, Feng Xiaogang, acclaimed actors Chen Daoming and Wang Zhiwen, and singer Sun Nan.

Hong Kong celebrities taking part include film director Sammo Hung, actors Donnie Yen, Eric Tsang, Simon Yam, Natalis Chan, Michael Wong and Ruco Chan, and actress Miriam Yeung.

The third edition of the World Celebrity Pro-Am will be held from 24-26 October at the fully-integrated Mission Hills Haikou Resort on the tropical island of Hainan.

The tournament will see 24 professional golfers and 24 celebrities come together for a bonanza of action and entertainment – including the first-ever staging in China of the new combination sport that is taking Europe by storm, football-golf.

For the first time, the World Celebrity Pro-Am will feature a Ryder Cup-style format, with the 24 celebrities divided into two teams for an Entertainment v Sport showdown. Each celebrity will be paired with a professional golfer and the teams will face off over two rounds of fourball betterball.

While assisting their celebrity playing partners, the professional golfers will also be competing for an individual prize fund of US$1 million.

“The World Celebrity Pro-Am will, once again, bring together some of the biggest stars in show business and sport for a golf-and-entertainment spectacular that will make headlines around the world,” Mission Hills Chairman and CEO Dr. Ken Chu and Vice Chairman Mr. Tenniel Chu said in a joint statement.

The World Celebrity Pro-Am will be played on Mission Hills Haikou’s signature Blackstone Course which hosted the World Cup of Golf in 2011, “The Match at Mission Hills” between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy last October and the recent World Ladies Championship, won by world No.1 Inbee Park.

The fun will start early, on Thursday 23 October, with celebrities taking part in a football-golf challenge on a specially constructed course. Players will be kicking a football towards the pin and aiming to outscore each other on a series of par-three, par-four and par-five holes.

The traditional pro-celebrity-amateur practice round will take place on Friday 24 October followed by Red Carpet, Cocktail Reception, Opening Ceremony and Gala Dinner, all taking place at Mission Hills Haikou • Lan Kwai Fong, the resort’s new entertainment district.

The World Celebrity Pro-Am itself will be played over two rounds at the weekend, while Saturday evening will also feature a Celebrities and Players Appreciation Party at Mission Hills Haikou • H. Brothers • Feng Xiaogang Movie Town, the recently-opened tourist attraction that features vintage street settings from Feng’s classic movies, state-of-the-art film studios, an array of shopping and dining options and countless other entertainment and leisure features.

The previous edition of the World Celebrity Pro-Am, in 2012, was won by top American professional Matt Kuchar and actor Andy Garcia, while Kuchar also captured the individual trophy.

The Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am is sponsored by American Express, Porsche, Stella Artois, Kohler, Lindt, San Pellegrino and Appletiser.

“At American Express we harness our global network of resources and capabilities to deliver exclusive, uplifting experiential leisure and lifestyle events to holders of American Express branded products,” said Mr. YC Koh, President, Asia, Card Services of American Express. “Crafting of pre-eminent events from golf championships such as the World Celebrity Pro-Am, private showings, fine dining to pre-sale events of prestigious brands are just some of the activities which underscore our commitment to service excellence and constant innovation in delivery of inspiring lifestyle experiences. I look forward to extending compelling exclusive packages for the World Celebrity Pro-Am to holders of American Express branded products where they can enjoy a magnificent weekend of golf, wellness and entertainment at a stunning venue.”

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