Golf News for Friday, April 19, 2013 | Charity

Gary Player Invitational Series at Champions Retreat Golf Club

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.

For more information, please contact Grace Lipscomb, Archivist & Media Coordinator, Gary Player Group, at +1 864 477 2720, or

Gary Player Invitational 2013 Series
United States - Georgia
Dates: 14 - 15 April 2013
Champions Retreat, Augusta

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

About The Player Foundation
The Player Foundation was established in 1983 by Marc Player. What began as an effort to provide education, nutrition, medical care and athletic activities, for a small community of disadvantaged children living on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa has now blossomed into an organization that circles the globe bringing aid to underprivileged children and impoverished communities.

The Foundation is funded primarily by four Gary Player Invitational events presented through Black Knight International. Pairing celebrities and professional golfers from the PGA and Champions Tours with businessmen and international sports figures, the annual tournaments are staged in the United States, China, Europe and South Africa. The proceeds of these tournaments and other special events provide funding for an ever- expanding number of institutions around the world, including the Blair Atholl Schools in South Africa, the Pleasant City Elementary School in Palm Beach, the Masizame in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, and AIDS infected children in Baoshan, a drug-infested city located on the China-Burma border. Since its establishment, The Player Foundation has donated over $50 million dollars to the support of children's charities, the betterment of impoverished communities and the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the world.

Gary Player, acknowledged as a world class humanitarian, believes that the strength of our future depends upon the abilities of our children. "I have found that the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others does not thrust itself upon us," Player says, "But we do not need to look hard for it either. When you spot the chance to give back to the world, act on it. You will have made life better, for others, and for yourself."

The Gary Player Foundation is a non-profit 501 C (3) organization managed by Black Knight International in Palm Beach, Florida.

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