Grand Slam Golfers Gary Player & Jack Nicklaus to Participate in 2004 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament

Greenville, S.C. - 03/17/2004

Legendary golfer Gary Player will participate in this year’s BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament! Jack Nicklaus is coming back, too!

The duo makes up two of the five golfers in the world that have ever won golf’s Grand Slam (Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods are the other three).

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. Player will participate in the tournament with his son Marc.

“I am really excited to be playing with my son Marc in a professional tournament,” Player said. “We look forward to helping the beautiful community of Greenville and the surrounding communities make a difference with their charitable endeavors.”

Nicklaus has agreed to return for the 2004 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament with his four sons – Jack II, Steve, Gary and Michael. It will mark only the second time that Jack has played with all four of his sons in a professional event, the first being last year’s BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs.

“Two of my loves are competitive golf and having the chance to play golf with my sons,” said Nicklaus. “To be able to combine the two is truly special for me. Last year was a great experience for us. Our family looks forward to getting back to Greenville.”

A PGA TOUR member since 1962, Nicklaus has 71 TOUR titles, including a record 18 professional major championships – six Masters; five PGA Championships; four U.S. Opens; three British Opens. He also won the U.S. Amateur championship twice.

Nicklaus was named Greatest Golfer of the Century by almost every major national and international media outlet, and was voted Sports Illustrated ‘s Individual Male Athlete of the Century. The Golden Bear also is a five-time winner of the PGA Player of the Year, was named Athlete of the Decade by Sports Illustrated for the 1970s, has been a member and/or captain of eight U.S. Ryder Cup teams, and was the U.S. captain of the 2002 Presidents Cup.

“We are privileged to have Gary and Marc participate, and have Jack and his sons return to compete in this year’s tournament,” said Doug McGrath, General Chairman of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. “Besides being the greatest golfers in the history of the game, both are family men who have 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. In addition to competing at the highest level of the game, both Gary and Jack have placed family and charitable endeavors at the top of their list of priorities. I am sure that all of Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina will join us in welcoming the Players and Nicklauses to the area. It is indeed an honor to have them join us.”

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

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

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