Golf News for Friday, April 18, 2014 | Charity

2014 Gary Player Invitational Series kick off in Augusta a success

Following an exciting Masters Week with Bubba Watson winning his second Green Jacket, Black Knight International kicked off the 2014 Gary Player Invitational (GPI) Series on April 13-14 in Augusta, GA, raising more than $328,000 to fund underprivileged children's education.

Participants were welcomed to the charity event, which pairs celebrities, businessmen, international sports figures and professional golfers in a Pro-Am team competition, at the Black Knight International house for a welcome reception and Masters viewing party with three-time Masters winner and GPI host Gary Player.

The tournament started off with a thrilling clinic by Long Drive champion Jamie Sadlowski who entertained guests with his incredible drives surpassing 400 yards. Plenty of action followed on the course as the four-ball scramble tournament was won by the team of James Wilson, Grant Horsfield, Scott Ferrell, Greg Lubbe, and Justin Downes, who together shot an impressive 24 under par.

Celebrities attending the charity event included: Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Sandra Gal, Jamie Sadlowski, Chris Doleman, Beverly Johnson, Kevin Sorbo, Victor Green, George Gervin, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Kristy Swanson, Lloyd Eisler, Tony Womack, Jeremy Dale, Justin Wheelon, Dan Jansen, Karen Palacios-Jansen, Nigel Smith, and John Patrick.

"This year was yet another fantastic event at Champions Retreat," commented Grand Slam champion Gary Player. "It has been a wonderful start to the annual GPI series, and I continue to be inspired and amazed by the tremendous work that can be accomplished when business people, athletes and celebrities come together in support of a common cause."

The Gary Player Invitational Series consists of charity golf events held throughout the year in the USA, Europe, China, and South Africa to benefit The Player Foundation and its beneficiaries. Since its establishment in 1983, The Player Foundation has raised more than $50 million in support of children's charities, the betterment of impoverished communities, and the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the world.

"We are truly grateful for the continued support of our corporate partners. Year after year, Rolex, Callaway, SAP, Coca-Cola, Humana, and Land Rover support our GPI events and have played a significant role in the fundraising successes we have achieved thus far," added Marc Player, Black Knight International CEO.

The next invitational series event is the Berenberg Gary Player Invitational, which is set to take place at the historic Wentworth Golf Club outside of London July 20-21, 2014.

Established in 1983 by Marc Player, Black Knight International is a global holding company for The Player Group and the constantly expanding family of Gary Player® brands. With a powerful presence in North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Black Knight is a multicultural and multilingual company offering branded services for the leisure and real estate industries. This rapidly growing firm is diverse and infused with the same tenaciousness and drive as Gary Player, world renowned iconic golfer. The holding company divisions include: Gary Player Design, Player Real Estate, Black Knight Enterprises, Black Knight Solutions, Black Knight Capital, Gary Player Academies, and 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.

Press Contact:
Gary Player Group
Grace Vine, 864-477-2720

Castillo & Ruig Communications
Spencer Castillo, 310.664.8843