Gary Player will crown a remarkable year of major milestones when he returns home to host the South African leg of his global charity series, the Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola, at The Lost City Golf Club at Sun City from 12-15 November.
This promises to be the most emotional of his Gary Player Invitational tournaments, which are also played in the United States, China, Europe, India and the United Arab Emirates, as the ultimate expression of the “Union of Golf and Giving” that has helped The Player Foundation raise more than R800 million for children’s charities around the world since 1983.
This year will embrace a historic time for Player, as he celebrates his 80th birthday as well as the 50th anniversary of his career Grand Slam. Player is still the only non-American to have achieved this feat in a select group of only five golfers throughout history. The Black Knight was also recently named the captain of South Africa’s inaugural Olympic golf team for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Player’s Grand Slam achievement has been celebrated throughout the world of golf this year, including a special Sunshine Tour tribute at Soweto Country Club with a community of golfers with whom he has always shared a close bond.
“Gary Player is an icon of world sport, not only golf. He has been one of South Africa’s greatest sporting ambassadors for decades, earning the commendation of Nelson Mandela for his efforts in using his status in golf to try and help bring about unity in South African sport,” said Selwyn Nathan, Executive Director of the Sunshine Tour.
With another world-class field of professional golfers, celebrities and business executives set to gather for this year’s Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola, Player said he is looking forward to continuing the success of the other global tournaments in the series with an equally memorable South African event.
“This has been such a special year and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate than in South Africa and with our friends and sponsors who continue to help us make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children,” said Player.
“Every year we are blown away by the generosity of the people involved in our tournament, from the professional golfers, celebrities and business executives who compete, to those who give so graciously to help our fundraising efforts. Last year was another record year in our fundraising, and I’m looking forward to another memorable tournament this year,” said Marc Player, CEO of Black Knight International and the founder of the GPI series.
The 2014 Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola raised more than R3.5 million for the two official charities, the Wildlands Conservation Trust in partnership with Qhubeka and Wings and Wishes.
And it was made even more memorable by the fact that Player led his own team to victory for the first time in the 15-year history of this tournament.