Last month’s 2016 Nedbank Golf Challenge was such an overwhelming success and for it to become an integral part of the forthcoming Rolex Series in 2017 is great news for the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City and for golf in South Africa. I am so thrilled to continue hosting the tournament.
I first envisioned this event would potentially change professional golf with big prize money by getting the four Major Champions of golf to come to South Africa to compete for millions of dollars.
Fast-forward 35 years later and the NGC is a Sunshine Tour and European Tour co-sanctioned event and part of the prestigious Race to Dubai. That in itself is special but now it is part of the seven tournament Rolex Series with each event having no less than $7million in total prize money we all believe it will continue to grow and attract many more champions to Africa’s Major.
It was also a great thrill to be back in Sun City for our Gary Player Invitational last month. Everyone, from our Black Knight team to the greenkeeping staff to the caddies, did a magnificent job taking care of our guests. These events are not possible without our sponsors Coca-Cola, SAP, Sun International, BMW and Rolex.
Hats off to Irish singer Brian McFadden for capturing the iconic Baobab trophy. He has been a tremendous supporter of the tournament for many years, and I was thrilled to see his team along with LPGA and LET star Celine Herbin come out on top. Starting the final round six shots off the lead, Herbin and her team of McFadden and businessmen Doug Jackson and Daryl Bernhart produced an inspired performance that saw them win by a single shot on 36 under par at The Lost City Golf Club.
“The golf was truly fantastic, but the giving during our Gala Dinner and Charity Auction was even more fantastic. You see, the Gary Player Invitational series is all about raising money for those less fortunate.”
My team of Manchester United football star Andy Cole and businessmen Kelvin Balogun and Anthony Leeming had to settle for second place.
The golf was truly fantastic, but the giving during our Gala Dinner and Charity Auction was even more fantastic. You see, the Gary Player Invitational series is all about raising money for those less fortunate.
This was the final tournament on our 2016 global Gary Player Invitational series, and it ended on a high note with more than R3 million raised for the two South African charities of Wings and Wishes, and the Wildlands Conservation Trust as well as other selected charities.
I want to thank all of our participants and sponsors for their support in six different countries around the world. The series continues to make a huge impact in raising funds for charity. Next stop Abu Dhabi in the UAE.