Actor Joe Pesci, NFL Stars Sterling Sharpe and Kordell Stewart Join BMW Charity Pro-Am Celebrity Ranks, Samuel L. Jackson, David James Elliott, Lucas Black and Kevin Sorbo Out
Actor Joe Pesci and former NFL players Sterling Sharpe and Kordell Stewart have been added to the line-up of celebrities for the 2008 BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament. Actors Samuel L. Jackson, David James Elliott, Kevin Sorbo and Lucas Black have withdrawn. Ty Gretzky, the 17-year-old son of the Great One, will also participate as a celebrity.
The celebrities that are now unable to attend have withdrawn due to recent changes in the production schedules of their latest movies.
“We are very excited to have Joe Pesci and Kordell Stewart joining the field for the first time and to have Sterling Sharpe return. The addition of Ty Gretzky marks the first father-mother-son participants in the tournament’s history and brings our celebrity participants to 28 ,” said Darin MacDonald, tournament director of the BMW Charity Pro-Am. “ It is unfortunate to hear about Samuel L. Jackson, David James Elliott, Kevin Sorbo and Lucas Black, but we understand. They had committed to play, but apparently the shooting schedules of their new movies have changed. We understand that their work takes precedence, and we wish them all well with these productions.”
A ctor Joe Pesci began acting in plays in New York City at the age of five. Growing up, Pesci also displayed great musical talent. He is one of the producers for the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys.” His acting breakthrough came in Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull,” acting with Robert De Niro, who he co-starred with in subsequent films, such as “Casino,” “Once Upon a Time in America,” and “Goodfellas” for which Pesci won an Academy Award in 1990 for Best Supporting Actor. Pesci is well-known for his role as Harry in “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” as well as playing Leo Getz in the “Lethal Weapon” movies.
As a wide receiver at the University of South Carolina, Sharpe set school records with 169 career receptions and 2,497 receiving yards and a since-broken record of 17 career touchdowns. He also set the school record for single-season receiving touchdowns with 11, which was broken in 2005 by Sidney Rice. A first-round draft pick of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers in 1988, Sharpe was a five-time All-Pro (1989, ‘90, ‘92, ‘93, and ‘94). In 1992, Sharpe hauled in 107 receptions, which broke the NFL’s single-season receptions record. The following year, Sharpe broke his own record, with 112 receptions, making him the first player to have consecutive seasons catching more than 100 passes. Sharpe is currently an NFL analyst with NBC.
Former NFL star Kordell Stewart entered the NFL as a second-round pick in 1995 out of the University of Colorado. While at Colorado, he led the Buffaloes to a 27-26 victory over Michigan by throwing a 64-yard Hail Mary pass known as, “The Miracle of Michigan.” Stewart spent most of his time in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he quickly earned the nickname, “Slash” for his ability to play quarterback/running back/wide receiver. Stewart set the NFL record for longest touchdown run by a quarterback, with an 80-yard touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in December 1996. Stewart’s 38 career rushing touchdowns ranks second all-time behind 43, set by Steve Young.
Ty Gretzky is the son of legendary NHL player Wayne Gretkzy and actress Janet-Jones Gretzky. He currently attends Shattuck-St. Mary’s school in Faribault, Minn., where he plays on the hockey team. In 2007, he had 19 points—10 of them goals—in 52 games. The Gretzkys will be the first father-mother-son combination in the tournament’s history and the third father-son participants. Jack and Steve Nicklaus, as well as Gary and Marc Player participated in the BMW Charity Pro-Am in 2004.
The celebrities now scheduled to compete in this year’s BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament are 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, 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 BMW Charity Pro-Am 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 will 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 at Thornblade Club. Celebrities will play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $121,500 from the total purse of $675,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour, as well as a brand new BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle. Amateurs and celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.
The first seven tournaments have raised more than $5.7 million for 80+ area charities.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament, sponsorship opportunities, charitable funding or volunteer opportunities, call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament’s website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com.