Augusta, United States: Following an exciting Masters week with Bubba Watson winning his second Green Jacket, Black Knight International kicked off the 2014 Gary Player Invitational (GPI) Series by raising more than US$328,000 to fund under-privileged children’s education.
Participants were welcomed to the charity event, which pairs celebrities, businessmen, international sports figures and professional golfers in a Pro-Am team competition, at the Black Knight International house for a welcome reception and Masters viewing party with three-time Masters winner and GPI host Gary Player.
“This year was yet another fantastic event at Champions Retreat,” said Grand Slam champion Player. “It has been a wonderful start to the annual GPI series and I continue to be inspired and amazed by the tremendous work that can be accomplished when business people, athletes and celebrities come together in support of a common cause.”
The tournament started with a clinic by Long Drive champion Jamie Sadlowski who entertained guests with his incredible drives surpassing 400 yards. Action then followed on the course with the four-ball scramble tournament being won by the team of James Wilson, Grant Horsfield, Scott Ferrell, Greg Lubbe and Justin Downes, who shot an impressive 24-under-par.
Celebrities attending the charity event included Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving, Sandra Gal, Jamie Sadlowski, Chris Doleman, Beverly Johnson, Kevin Sorbo, Victor Green, George Gervin, Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones, Kristy Swanson, Lloyd Eisler, Tony Womack, Jeremy Dale, Justin Wheelon, Dan Jansen, Karen Palacios-Jansen, Nigel Smith and John Patrick.
The GPI Series consists of charity golf events held throughout the year in the USA, Europe, China and South Africa to benefit The Player Foundation and its beneficiaries. Since its establishment in 1983, The Player Foundation has raised more than US$50 million in support of children’s charities, the betterment of impoverished communities and the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the world.
Marc Player, Black Knight International CEO, said: “We are truly grateful for the continued support of our corporate partners. Year after year, Rolex, Callaway, SAP, Coca-Cola, Humana and Land Rover support our GPI events and have played a significant role in the fund-raising successes we have achieved thus far.”
The next invitational series event is the Berenberg Gary Player Invitational, due to take place at London’s Wentworth Golf Club on July 20-21.