Friday, April 19, 2013

Gary Player Invitational Series Kicks Off 30th Anniversary Year with Successful Event

Following a thrilling week at The Masters, the Gary Player Invitational Series continued its success in the United States, raising $328,000 to fund education for underprivileged children. The charity event was held at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, GA, the only golf property in the USA to feature three nine-hole courses designed by Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, known collectively as The Big Three, who also joined together as honorary starters for the second consecutive year to kick off the 77th playing of the Masters Tournament.

"This was an excellent way to cap off our week at The Masters and start our 2013 global charity series," said Marc Player, CEO of Black Knight International. "It's amazing what can be accomplished when businesspeople, athletes and celebrities rally for a common cause."

This year The Player Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Having raised more than $50 million dollars in three decades, the successes of the golfing icon's philanthropic endeavors are perhaps his most meaningful accomplishments. The Player Foundation is continuing to spread hope and aid to underprivileged children around the world and as efforts are largely funded through the global Gary Player Invitational (GPI) Series.

"I am so grateful that in our 30th year of The Player Foundation we have been able to continue carrying on with our cause to assist underprivileged children all over the world," said Gary Player. "The GPI in Augusta has been an excellent start to the series and I can only hope that we are able to raise record-breaking funds this year to set a giving milestone on our 30th anniversary."

On the eve of the charity tournament, participants representing countries from around the world were invited to the Black Knight house for a viewing of the thrilling conclusion of The Masters where Adam Scott became the first Australian Masters Champion. The next morning prior to the tournament, golfers were treated to the outlandish and impressive trick shot artistry of Brit Jeremy Dale, as well as a clinic by the Grand Slam champion Player.

The four-ball scramble tournament was won by the team of Hercules actor and golf enthusiast Kevin Sorbo, Brad Bylenga, Ron Rasmussen, Rick Erwin, and Rick Phillips, who shot an impressive 17 under par. In addition to Sorbo, celebrities in attendance included actors Anthony Anderson and Jeffery Donovan, former NFL great Ed "Too Tall" Jones, and professional golf trick shot artist Jeremy Dale.

"Every year we are lucky to have partners like Rolex, Callaway, SAP, Coca-Cola, and Range Rover support our Gary Player Invitational event, and this year healthcare giant Humana has also joined as a corporate partner," added Marc Player. "We simply would not be able to achieve the fundraising success we have without our corporate sponsors and I can't thank them enough."

The next event in the series is the Gary Player Invitational presented by Berenberg Bank in the UK, set to take place at the historic Wentworth Golf Club outside of London on July 22, 2013.

For more information, visit or follow @GPInvitational on Twitter.

Gary Player Invitational 2013 Series
United Kingdom - England
Dates: 22 July 2013
Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey

China - Shanghai
Dates: 4 - 5 November 2013
Shanghai Links

South Africa - The Palace of the Lost City
Dates: 14 - 17 November 2013
Sun City

For further information on The Player Foundation, Gary Player, or Black Knight International, visit or contact Debbie Longenecker at telephone +1-864-477-2720.


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