Celebrity Participants Announced for 2003 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament
Samuel L. Jackson, Cheech Marin, Michael O’Keefe, John O’Hurley, Gabrielle Reece, Jim Courier, Hootie & The Blowfish, the Gatlin Brothers, Ben Wright, Jennifer Mills, George Rogers and Steve Bartkowski are the celebrities that are scheduled to compete in this year’s BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament.
All of the above celebrities have committed in writing to appear in this year’s tournament.
Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus is the featured golfer. He will play with his four sons, Jack II, Steve, Gary and Michael. Steve received a celebrity playing spot.
Samuel L. Jackson has starred in such hit movies as Shaft, A Time to Kill, Patriot Games, Jurassic Park, and the recent Stars Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones. He is best known for his portrayal of Jules, the philosophizing hit man in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, for which he received a Golden Globe and Academy Award Nomination.
Best known as one half of the no-holds-barred duo of Cheech and Chong, Cheech Marin has starred in films such as From Dusk till Dawn, Desperado, The Great White Hype, and as Kevin Costner’s caddie in the golf movie Tin Cup. Currently, Marin appears on the television drama Nash Bridges.
Probably best known for his role as young man struggling against his dominating father in Patrick Conroy’s The Great Santini (which won him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor), many recognize Michael O’Keefe as the teenage caddie Danny Noonan in the comedy smash Caddyshack. O’Keefe also played Fred, Jackie’s husband, on the hit TV series Roseanne. Other film credits include: Ironweed, Split Image, Nina Takes A Lover, and Me & Veronica. He also starred opposite Jack Nicholson in The Pledge.
John O’Hurley, who currently hosts To Tell the Truth and Get Golf with the PGA Tour!, and has been featured in numerous television commercials, will forever be remembered for his sitcom parody of real-life catalog mogul J. Peterman on the hit TV series Seinfeld. This will be O’Hurley’s third appearance at the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs tournament.
Athlete/model Gabrielle Reece set season volleyball records for solo and total blocks while at Florida State. Named the nation’s Most Inspiring Collegiate Athlete in 1990, Reece has also enjoyed success on the pro volleyball circuit, and she regularly writes a column for Women’s Sports & Fitness. Along with professional volleyball, Reece began modeling in 1989 and has appeared on the covers of such magazines as Women’s Sports & Fitness, Outside, Shape, Self, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Volleyball, and Life. Reece is currently focused on becoming a member of the LPGA Tour.
Jim Courier, who won four grand slam titles (two Australian Opens and two French Opens), built his reputation as one of the toughest and hardest-working players on the pro tennis tour. Courier was the first American tennis player to be ranked No.1 in the world following John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.
Hootie & The Blowfish formed at the University of South Carolina in the late 1980s. With a mellow, pop-rock sound inspired mainly by R.E.M. and the Steve Miller Band, Atlantic Records signed Hootie in 1993, before they had even released a full-length album. They went on to become one of the most commercially successful adult contemporary groups to emerge from the mid-’90s.
The Gatlin Brothers were one of the most commercially successful country-pop bands of the 1970s and ’80s. Besides their musical accomplishments, the Gatlin Brothers have several thriving businesses to their name, including a club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Designer of the Cliffs Valley course, Ben Wright has been covering the golfing world for over 45 years, most notably with CBS Sports. Wright has attended the world’s major golf events since 1954. He announced The Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club for more than 20 years in succession, and also broadcast the Ryder Cup matches in 1989, ’91, ’93, and ’95. His articulate prose and ability to tell a tale are unrivaled, as are his wit and intellect.
Born and raised in Greenville, Jennifer Mills is now an anchor on The Golf Channel’s Golf Central. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Mills has more than 15 years in broadcast journalism, beginning as a sports photographer at an NBC affiliate in Winston-Salem, N.C. A mother of two, Mills now lives in Orlando, Fla.
1980 Heisman trophy winning running back from the University of South Carolina, George Rogers rolled up 21 consecutive 100-yard games, including every game his senior year, when he led the nation in rushing with 1,781 yards and tied for third in TDs with 14. New Orleans Saints coach Bum Phillips, who made Rogers the top NFL ’81 draft choice, noted the running back’s double edge – Rogers could dodge a defender or run over him. Rogers played with the Washington Redskins, Super Bowl Champions. He retired in 1988. Rogers and partner Kyle Thompson won last year’s Pro-Celebrity portion of the BMW Charity Pro-Am.
Steve Bartkowski was an All-America in both baseball and football at the University of California, before being made the No. 1 draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in the 1975 NFL draft. Bartkowski went on to start 11 years with the Falcons. He was selected “Rookie of the Year” in 1975, led Atlanta to its first ever playoff game in 1978, was the NFC’s Most Valuable Player in 1980, and earned All-Pro honors in ’80 and ’81.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament will be played May 1-4, 2003 at Cliffs Valley and The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards courses, where amateurs and celebrities will be grouped with Nationwide PGA Tour professionals. All four rounds will be televised live by The Golf Channel.
The tournament is the premier event on the Nationwide PGA Tour and is the only event that features professionals paired with an amateur/celebrity partner in a two-day best-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 will take home $103,500 from the total purse of $575,000, while the amateurs/celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the 48 beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.
The first two tournaments have raised over $1 million for charity.
General Admission tickets for the 2003 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs can be purchased for $20 by calling (864) 297-1660 or through one of the 48 selected charity beneficiaries. Corporate sponsorships and ticket packages that include VIP and Clubhouse tickets can also be purchased by calling (864) 297-1660. Proceeds benefit local charities.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament or sponsorship opportunities call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament’s website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com or www.bmwcharityproam.pgatour.com.