Grand Slam Golfer Gary Player Returns to Participate in 2005 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament

GREENVILLE, S.C. - 03/22/2005

Legendary golfer Gary Player will once again participate in the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament. Player is one of five golfers in the world that have ever won golf’s Grand Slam (Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are the other four).

Nicknamed the Black Knight for his courageous style of play, fierce competitiveness and penchant for black attire on the golf course, Player is the most successful international golfer of all time. Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Player turned pro in 1953. Since then, he has won 163 championships, including nine majors (three Masters; three British Opens; two PGA Championships; and the US Open), and over $11 million in earnings. Player and his wife Vivienne are the parents of six children and 13 grandchildren.

Player, who also breeds thoroughbred racehorses, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, was named South African Sportsman of the century, and was the recipient of the 2000 PGA TOUR Ambassador of Golf Award.

“I am looking forward to returning to Greenville,” Player said. “We look forward to helping the community make a difference with their charitable endeavors.”

“We are privileged to have Gary return to compete in this year’s tournament,” said Bobby Hitt, co-chairman of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. “Besides being one of the greatest golfers in the history of the game, he is a family man who has always worked hard to make a difference in the world through various charitable activities. Our tournament embodies strong family values as evidenced by the number of family-oriented charities that receive funds from the tournament. I am sure that all of Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina will join us in welcoming the Gary back. It is indeed an honor to have him join us.”

The 2005 tournament will be played April 28-May 1, 2005 at Cliffs Valley, The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards and The Cliffs at Walnut Cove. All four rounds will be televised live by The Golf Channel.

The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs is the only tournament on the Nationwide PGA Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide PGA 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 Cliffs Valley. Celebrities will play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Cliffs Valley will serve as the host course. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $112,500 from the total purse of $625,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour. 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.

Last spring’s events raised a record $763,646 for 31 Upstate and Western North Carolina charities. The first four tournaments have raised more than $2.4 million for area charities.

General Admission tickets for the 2005 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs can be purchased for $25 through one of the 28 selected charities or by calling (864) 297-1660. 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.

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

Owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Nationwide Tour is in its 16th season in 2005. Nationwide, one of the world’s largest insurance and financial services providers, is in its third year as the umbrella sponsor of the Tour. The 2005 season will consist of 31 events played in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Panama and 22 U.S. states. Purses will top $16 million this year. The Top 20 money winners on the season will automatically earn playing privileges on the 2006 PGA TOUR. The PGA TOUR is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, and its website is

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