2007 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament Smashes Record; Raises more than $2 Million for Charity
The seventh-annual BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament raised a record $2,021,325 for 20 Upstate and Western North Carolina charities. Checks were presented to representatives from each of the participating charities by officials from South Carolina Charities, Inc., at an event held today in the BMW Zentrum Museum on the grounds of BMW Manufacturing Co.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs has raised more than $5.7 million for Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina charities in its seven years. The tournament is the leading charity event on the Nationwide Tour. This year’s charity donation is the highest one-year amount ever recorded by a Nationwide Tour tournament.
This year’s winner was Nick Flanagan, from Belmont, New South Wales, Australia. The win was the second in a row for the Australian and the second of his career. Flanagan finished the tournament at -15 under par (68, 72, 66, 65) beating Nicholas Thompson by one stroke.
The win earned Flanagan $117,000 and skyrocketed him from ninth place to the top of the Nationwide Tour money list. The top 25 money leaders on the Nationwide Tour automatically earn playing status on the PGA TOUR in 2008. Every winner of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs has gone on to compete on the PGA TOUR.
Janet Jones-Gretzky and her professional partner Darren Angel won the Pro-Am/Pro-Celeb portion of the tournament at -44 under par. They donated their $10,000 winnings to The Walker Foundation. Former Heisman Trophy winner, University of South Carolina standout, and NFL running back George Rogers and his professional partner Jimmy Walker finished second at -42 under par. They donated their $9,000 winnings to The Ronald McDonald House. Al Wisne, an entrepreneur from south Florida, and his professional partner Mike Capone finished third overall and were the top scoring Pro-Am team at -38 under par.
Other special events that took place as part of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs were also successful, including the Celebrity Walk of Fame held in downtown Greenville, Kevin Costner’s free and open-to-the-public concert on Main St., and the Hootie & The Blowfish concert with Josh Kelley at the BI-LO Center.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs is the only tournament on the Nationwide Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide Tour professionals in a three-day better-ball competition. Amateurs, celebrities and pros rotate between each of the three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the 14 lowest scoring pro-amateur/pro-celebrity teams advancing to play Sunday’s final round. Celebrities play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Along with a brand new BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle, the professional winner of the overall 72-hole event takes home $117,000 from the total purse of $650,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour. Amateurs and celebrities compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.
Celebrities that participated in this year’s tournament included: Kevin Costner, George Lopez, David James Elliott, Joanna Krupa, Catherine Bell, John Elway, Wayne Gretzky, Janet Jones-Gretzky, Sterling Sharpe, Jim Rice, Kevin Sorbo, Cheech Marin, Gary Valentine, Josh Kelley, Javier Colon, Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Edwin McCain, Brett Hull, George Rogers, Tom Dreesen, Ben Wright and Jennifer Mills. Famed international golfer and Grand Slam winner Gary Player also participated.
The 20 charities that benefited from the golf tournament were: A Child’s Haven, Inc.; Blue Ridge Council Boy Scouts; Blue Ridge Literacy Council; Compass of Carolina; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Foothills Family Resources; Hidden Treasure; Mountain Area Child and Family Center; National Christian College Athletic Association; North Greenville Food Crisis Ministry; Partners for a Healthy Community, Inc.; Phillis Wheatley Association; Pickens County YMCA; Pinnacle Partners; Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas; St. Joseph’s School; The Charles Lea Center; The Walker Foundation; United Ministries; Zest Quest.
Attendance for the 2007 tournament totaled 42,000.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament, sponsorship opportunities, charitable funding or volunteer opportunities, call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament’s website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com.