2008 BMW Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament Raises More Than $900,000 for Local Charities
The eighth-annual BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament raised $906,308 for 72 Upstate and Western North Carolina charities, it was announced today. Checks were presented to representatives from 22 of the participating charities by officials from South Carolina Charities, Inc., at an event held today at the Embassy Suites hotel.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am has raised more than $6.6 million for Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina charities in its eight years. The tournament is a leading charity event on the Nationwide Tour.
This year’s winner was David Mathis of Winston-Salem, N.C. The win was the first of his career. Mathis finished the tournament at -20 under par (65, 65, 68, 68) beating Roger Tambellini by three strokes.
The win earned Mathis $121,500 of the $675,000 total purse and a BMW X5, skyrocketing him from 44 th place to fourth on the Nationwide Tour money list. Mathis has earned more than $240,000 so far this year and is well on his way to competing on the PGA TOUR next year. The top 25 money leaders on the Nationwide Tour automatically earn playing status on the PGA TOUR in 2009.
NHL superstar Wayne Gretzky and his professional partner, Chris Nallen, won the Pro-Am/Pro-Celeb portion of the tournament at -46 under par. Gretzky won a BMW Z4 Roadster for winning, and he and Nallen donated their $10,000 winnings to The Charles Lea Center. R&B singer/songwriter Javier Colon and his professional partner, Colt Knost, finished second at -44 under par. They donated their $9,000 winnings to The Ronald McDonald House. Fred Mercer, an entrepreneur from Greenville, S.C., and his professional partner, Todd Fischer, finished fourth overall and were the top scoring Pro-Am team at -37 under par.
The first eight tournaments have raised more than $6.6 million for 125+ area charities.
A record 50,000 attended the 2008 tournament.
The 2008 BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament was played May 15-18, 2008, at Bright’s Creek Golf Club in Mill Spring, N.C., The Carolina Country Club in Spartanburg and Thornblade Club in Greer. It is the only tournament on the Nationwide Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide Tour professionals in a four-day better-ball competition over three courses. Amateurs, celebrities and pros rotated 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 at Thornblade Club. Celebrities play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Celebrities that competed in this year’s tournament included Joe Pesci, Dennis Quaid, Luke Wilson, Greg Kinnear, Kurt Russell, Catherine Bell, Wayne Gretzky, Janet Jones-Gretzky, Ty Gretzky, Dave Coulier, Stefanie Schaeffer, Patrick Warburton, Oliver Hudson, Michael Pena, Sterling Sharpe, Kordell Stewart, Kevin Sorbo, Jason Dohring, Josh Kelley, Cheech Marin, Javier Colon, Steve Azar, Gary Valentine, Mark Rypien, Branford Marsalis, Pat Green, George Rogers, Ben Wright and Jennifer Mills.
The 19 charities that benefited from the golf tournament were: A Child’s Haven, Inc., Anderson Area YMCA, Palmetto Council Boy Scouts, Blue Ridge Council Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greenville, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Upstate, Camp Greenville, Compass of Carolina, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FENCE (Foothills Equestrian Nature Center), Hidden Treasure, Mountain Area Child and Family Center, National Christian College Athletic Association, Phillis Wheatley Association, Inc., Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas, St. Joseph’s School, The Charles Lea Center, The Walker Foundation of The South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, and United Ministries.
Three groups – Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation and Upstate Alliance Educational Foundation – are charitable partners of the BMW Charity Pro-Am and had events that took place as part of the tournament.
Fifty additional charities participated in the tournament’s inaugural ticket sales program that allowed each charity to keep all proceeds from $25 general admission tickets that it sold.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament; sponsorship opportunities or volunteerism, call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament’s website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com.