JOHANNESBURG – The 20th anniversary of the Gary Player Invitational saw South Africa’s legendary sportspeople joined by a host of celebrities, Sunshine Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour professionals and business leaders in supporting the Player Foundation at The Lost City Golf Course.Rugby World Cup winners, Steven Kitshoff, Bryan Habana and Butch James were joined by fellow Springboks Akona and Odwa Ndungane, Patrick Lambie and Owen Nkumane as well as former Proteas cricket captain Shaun Pollock, International Boxing Hall of Fame member Brian Mitchell, and former Bafana Bafana stars Mark Williams, Jimmy Tau and Matthew Booth.The 36-hole tournament was won by Zander Lombard and his team, including Irish pop star Brian McFadden, businesspeople Adrian Moors and Mark Ilsley. The four-ball claimed victory by three-points, notching up 188 points.More importantly, R2.3 million was raised for The Player Foundation to add to the more than R900 million raised so far.Former Proteas cricket captain Shaun Pollock was one of the many sports stars who participated this year, and he summed up the weekend as one of the most memorable in the many Gary Player Invitational tournaments he has played in.“It was organised and run in a great way, in a great atmosphere and for a great cause. You help to raise money and that means you get to change the lives of children,” he said.Former Bafana Bafana captain Aaron Mokoena was also in attendance and commended the work that the Player Foundation has done.“I came from humble beginnings, and I know from personal experience that there are kids out there who can become influential people but are struggling because of their circumstances,” said Mokoena.“I know how much raising funds for underprivileged children can mean to them, so for me to be a part of The Player Foundation’s work here means a lot. It’s in my DNA to give back, and this event gives me the opportunity to do that.”During the course of the weekend, Gary Player himself paid tribute to the sponsors who contributed to events like these, as well as those on the professional circuit.“I’ve always said that sponsors are the lifeblood of what we as professional athletes are able to do. Without sponsors, you’d have no golf tournaments and no stage for the professionals to show their skills”, he said.“I’ve been privileged to have incredible sponsors throughout my career. They play a vital role in helping us to achieve our goal of raising money for The Player Foundation and underprivileged children, and our tournament beneficiaries Wings and Wishes and the Blair Atholl School”, he said.
Gary Player Invitational raises over R2 million for charity
Monday 25 16:50