Black Knight International and The Player Foundation announced today that the European leg of the Gary Player Invitational (GPI) global charity series raised in excess of $220,000 USD. Held at the historic Wentworth Club and presented by Berenberg Bank, the Gary Player Invitational benefited Berenberg Kids and The Player Foundation. Through monies raised in the event, The Player Foundation is able extend its substantial impact to improving educational standards and helping children from impoverished communities plagued by disease and crime.
"Giving children the chance to make a better future for themselves through our efforts at The Player Foundation and during our event is extremely gratifying," said Gary Player. "Bringing together friends, businessmen, and our corporate partners to help change the lives of young children, makes everything I have achieved in golf more worthwhile."
The Wentworth Club, longtime home of the World Match Play and current home of the BMW PGA Championship, hosted a number of distinguished celebrities, including South Africa Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula, DJ Spoony, former Springbok Captain John Smit, Pro Golfers Henrietta Zuel and Marc Raven, ITV presenter Naga Munchetty, BBC Presenter Dougie Donnelly and many more.
Invited guests and celebrities made up the 21 team field competing for the pro-am title. While teams made their way around the Gary Player-designed Edinburg course, the Black Knight was on hand to offer advice to the competitors before playing a hole with each team.
"The course is beautiful, and [I am] excited to be part of such a great cause," said Henrietta Zuel, English professional golfer and longtime supporter of the GPI events.
The Kerry Insurance team consisting of the Nigel Stiles, Rory O'Connor, Mark O'Sullivan, and Paul Fox shot the low round of the day. Other notable rounds included an ace by participant John Spanswick.
Following the charity pro-am tournament, Player hosted the evening entertainment featuring a gala auction dinner with BBC Presenter Dougie Donnelly as MC. The tournament success was mirrored during the gala auction that managed to raise over $40,000 USD to benefit Berenberg Kids and The Player Foundation.
The contributions by The Player Foundation were seen early in the day when Gary Player was able to present last year's beneficiary, The Lord's Taverners, with a new specially-adapted wheelchair-accessible minibus, possible from the funds raised during the 2011 Gary Player Invitational at Wentworth. The Lord's Taverners minibus was gifted to disabled youth from Glasshouse College, an independent college providing practical skill therapeutic education for young people aged 16-25 years with a range of learning difficulties.
"We are grateful to those who have supported our GPI event," said Marc Player, CEO of Black Knight International. "The funds raised to benefit those children who are less fortunate would not have been possible without our corporate partners, Berenberg Bank, Rolex, and Callaway."
At the heart of each GPI Event is act of giving back to those less fortunate. The Player Foundation, the Gary Player Invitational's primary beneficiary, is in its 29th year, and has successfully raised more than $50 Million (USD) in order to bring hope, help and healing to underprivileged children and communities worldwide.
The Gary Player Invitational global charity series continues with visits to China in October and will end the year in Player's home country of South Africa in November.
For further information please contact Grace Lipscomb, Archivist & Media Coordinator, Gary Player Group, +1 864 477 2720 or email@example.com