Hainan, China: 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 and Nicole Kidman are being lined up to appear, together with Hollywood heartthrob Chris Evans. Dazzling actress Jessica Alba is 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 and Chinese gymnast Li Ning, and Portuguese former international footballer Luis 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 and it’s hoped his revisit to Mission Hills will further popularise the game of golf in the nation.
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.
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 335 professional golf victories, including 15 Majors.
China’s entertainment industry will be well represented by the country’s top 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 October 24-26 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 Tenniel Chu said in a joint statement.
“We are delighted to have announced some of the globally famous personalities who will be taking part in our signature event and we anticipate confirming more household names in the months leading up to the tournament.”
The World Celebrity Pro-Am will be played on the Brian Curley-designed 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 Park In-bee.
Shanghai, China: PacificPine Sports, exclusive operator of the PGA Youth Development golf academies in Greater China, has partnered with Lanhai International Golf Club to open a new PGA Learning and Performance Centre.