Celebrity Participants Announced for 2004 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament
Costner, Bell & Russell Celebrity Headliners; Legendary Golfers Nicklaus & Player to ParticipateKevin Costner and his fiancé Christine Baumgartner, Catherine Bell, Kurt Russell, Branford Marsalis and band member Joey Calderazzo, Lou Holtz, Cheech Marin, Alice Cooper, Michael O’Keefe, John O’Hurley, Ben Wright, Jennifer Mills, George Rogers, Steve Bartkowski and Don Edwards are the celebrities that are scheduled to compete in this year’s BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament. Hootie & The Blowfish and Edwin McCain will perform, but not play golf.
All of the above celebrities have committed in writing to appear in this year’s tournament.
Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus is also scheduled to play along with his four sons – Jack II, Steve, Gary and Michael. Famed international golfer and fellow Grand Slam winner, Gary Player and his son Wayne will also participate in this year’s tournament. Steve Nicklaus and Wayne Player will play as celebrities.
Kevin Costner is an Oscar-winning actor/director/producer, and has starred in such hits as: The Untouchables ; No Way Out ; Bull Durham ; Field of Dreams ; Dances with Wolves ; JFK ; Thirteen Days ; Open Range ; and the 1996 golf movie Tin Cup . This will be Costner’s third appearance in the tournament. Costner’s fiancé Christine Baumgartner will also play in the tournament as a celebrity.
Catherine Bell is best known as Marine Corps attorney Lt. Colonel Sarah ‘Mac’ Mackenzie on the hit TV series, J.A.G. Bell, who enjoys sports, was voted the 38th sexiest girl in FHM ‘s “2002 Sexiest Girls” edition. Bell was born in London, but moved to California with her Iranian mother at the age of two. She is fluent in the Persian language of Farsi.
Kurt Russell is a newcomer to the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. He began his acting career as a child with the Walt Disney Co, but once he outgrew child roles, he quit acting to pursue his love of baseball. He played second base with the minor league baseball teams of the California Angels and San Diego Padres until he hurt his arm. His injury returned him to acting, and in 1979 he made his mark on the big screen portraying the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Elvis . Since then Russell has gone on to star in such hits as: Silkwood (where he received a Golden Globe nomination); Escape from New York ; Overboard ; Back Draft ; Captain Ron ; Tombstone ; Executive Decision ; 3000 Miles to Graceland ; and Vanilla Sky . Last month, Russell starred in the hit movie Miracle . Russell has lived with actress Goldie Hawn since 1983.
Branford Marsalis is one of the most well known jazz musicians in the world. The oldest of the four musical brothers, Marsalis has played with Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Sting, and brother Wynton. Marsalis became even more of a celebrity when he joined Jay Leno’s Tonight Show as the musical director in 1992. Currently, he plays in the Branford Marsalis Quartet. Joining Marsalis as a celebrity in the tournament is band pianist Joey Calderazzo.
One of college football’s most successful coaches and motivational speakers, Lou Holtz is the only coach in NCAA history to lead six different teams to post-season bowl games and is the only coach to guide four different programs to a final top-20 ranking. Holtz won a national championship as head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 1988 and has been named National Coach of the Year.
Best known as one half of the no-holds-barred duo of Cheech and Chong, Cheech Marin has starred in films such as Up in Smoke ; From Dusk till Dawn ; Desperado ; The Great White Hype , and as Kevin Costner’s caddie in the golf movie Tin Cup . Most recently, Marin appeared on the television drama Nash Bridges. He was also the voice of Banzai in The Lion King .
Alice Cooper, the son of a minister and an avid golfer who hosts two celebrity golf events (Alice Cooper’s Rock Foundation Celebrity golf tournament and the MTX Alice Cooper Celebrity AM golf tournament), virtually invented rock as theatre. He changed the face of music with his innovative, precedent-shattering, and entertaining rock theatrics. Hit songs include, “Billion Dollar Babies,” “School’s Out,” “I’m Eighteen,” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy.”
Probably best known as the teenage caddie Danny Noonan in the hit comedy, Caddyshack , O’Keefe was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as a son struggling against his domineering father in Pat Conroy’s, The Great Santini . O’Keefe also played Fred, Jackie’s husband on the hit TV series, Roseanne . Other film credits include: Ironweed , Split Image 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 fourth appearance at the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament.
Designer of the Cliffs Valley course, Ben Wright has been covering the golfing world for 50 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.
As the 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 was a member of the 1987 Washington Redskins Super Bowl Championship team. He retired in 1988. Rogers and professional partner Kyle Thompson, also an alumnus of South Carolina, won the 2002 Pro-Celebrity portion of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs.
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.
Don Edwards spent 10 years as a goaltender in the NHL, mostly with the Buffalo Sabers. He won the prestigious Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender in 1980, and was twice named an All-Star. Edwards started in goal from 1976 to 1982 and still holds the team record for wins in a season (38). He ranks second to Dominik Hasek in career victories (156), minutes played (17,969), games played (307) and shutouts (14). Edwards, who also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames, is a former assistant coach for the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings. He was inducted into the Buffalo Sabers’ Hall of Fame in 2000.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs will be played April 29-May 2, 2004 at Cliffs Valley and The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards courses, where amateurs and celebrities will be grouped with Nationwide Tour professionals. All four rounds will be televised live by The Golf Channel.
The tournament is one of the premier events 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 professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $108,000 from the total purse of $600,000, while the amateurs/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.
General Admission tickets for the 2004 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs can be purchased for $20 through one of the 29 selected charities or by calling (864) 297-1660. Each of the 29 charities will receive $15 (75%) back from every $20 general admission ticket that it sells. In order for the charities to receive proceeds, tickets much be purchased directly from them. Children 14 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Corporate sponsorships and ticket packages that include VIP and Clubhouse tickets can also be purchased by calling (864) 297-1660.
The first three tournaments have raised over $1.65 million for charity.
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.
Owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Nationwide Tour is in its 15th season, its second with Nationwide serving as the umbrella sponsor. The 2004 season will consist of 31 events played in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Panama. Purses will exceed $15.8 million this year. The Top 20 money winners on the season will automatically earn playing privileges on the PGA TOUR for 2005. The Tour is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, and its web site is www.pgatour.com.