2004 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament Sets Record for Charity
The fourth-annual BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament raised a record $752,650 for 29 Upstate and Western North Carolina charities. The check amount was presented by officials from South Carolina Charities, Inc., at today’s Volunteer Appreciation Party held at the Wyche Pavilion. According to PGA TOUR officials, that is the largest donation made from the Nationwide Tour since its inception. The previous record was last year’s BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs, which raised $674,788.
Forty thousand (40,000) fans witnessed former University of Georgia golfer Ryuji Imada win his second Nationwide Tour event (2000 Virginia Beach Open) in a sudden death playoff against Paul Gow. Imada won the tournament on the fifth playoff hole (No. 12 at Cliffs Valley) by sinking a 10-ft., downhill putt. The victory earned Imada $108,000. He shot a four-day total 270 (70-66-65-69) -17 under par. Gow finished in second place, a stroke behind Imada, earning $64,800. Five players finished tied for third place.
In the BMW Charity Cup Pro-Celebrity division former University of South Carolina football standout and Heisman trophy winner George Rogers and Oscar-winning actor/director Kevin Costner finished tied for first place at -32 under par. Legendary golf announcer Ben Wright finished in third place. Actor Kurt Russell finished fourth. University of South Carolina football coach Lou Holtz finished in fifth-place.
Matthias Schweicher of BMW and his professional partner Jake Reeves won the BMW Charity Cup Pro-Amateur division.
The 29 charities that benefited from the golf tournament were:
American Cancer Society; Blue Ridge Literacy Council; Boy Scouts of America – Blue Ridge and Palmetto Area Councils; Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Spartanburg; Camperdown Academy; Compass of Carolina; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; First Tee of Spartanburg; Habitat for Humanity of Greenville and Spartanburg Counties; Hospice House of Greenville; Mobile Meals of Spartanburg County, Inc.; National Christian College Athletic Association; North Greenville College; Partners for a Healthy Community, Inc.; Peace Center for the Performing Arts; Pendleton Place; Phillis Wheatley Association; Pickens County Sheriff’s Scholarship Foundation; Pickens County YMCA; Ronald McDonald House of Greenville; South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation – Upstate Programs; Special Olympics South Carolina; Spinks Family Charity Foundation; St. Joseph’s Catholic School; Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources, Inc.; The Charles Lea Center; The Walker Foundation (S.C. School for the Deaf & Blind); United Ministries; Young Life.
Charities were presented with a memento Saturday night, May 1 at a charity recognition dinner held at BMW Manufacturing. Celebrity Jennifer Mills emceed the event, and celebrities Catherine Bell and John O’Hurley attended. As an added bonus for the evening’s entertainment, famed musician Bruce Hornsby performed.
Other special events that took place as part of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs were also successful, including The Gatlin Brothers’ concert in Spartanburg, the Celebrity Walk of Fame held in downtown Greenville, and the Hootie & The Blowfish/Edwin McCain concert at the Bi-Lo Center. All events witnessed record crowds and community support.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament has been called the premier event on the Nationwide Tour and is the only event that features professionals paired with an amateur/celebrity partner in a two-day better-ball competition. The 14 lowest scoring teams (10 Pro-Celeb and four Pro-Am) advance to play for the BMW Charity Cup on Saturday. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event took home $108,000 from the total purse of $600,000, while the amateurs/celebrities competed for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the 29 beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.
The four tournaments have raised more than $2.3 million for charity.
Celebrities that participated in this year’s tournament included: Kevin Costner and his fiancé Christine Baumgartner, Catherine Bell, Kurt Russell, Branford Marsalis, Lou Holtz, Cheech Marin, Alice Cooper, John O’Hurley, Ben Wright, Jennifer Mills, George Rogers, Steve Bartkowski, Steve and Rudy Gatlin, and Don Edwards. Legendary golfers Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were the featured golfers.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament’s website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com.