The 2016 Gary Player Invitational was a hugely successful event, not just in terms of a world-class experience and its high-profile Tour Professional participation, but also in raising funds for charity.
An all-star cast of golf professionals and celebrities joined Gary Player at Abu Dhabi’s ocean-front Saadiyat Beach Golf Club over two days to celebrate a Union of Golf and Giving.
As part of a global series that has now raised more than $62 million for charities worldwide, the Player Foundation has set a target of raising $100 million by 2020. At a stylish Gala Dinner held at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, another big step towards that goal was taken as the tournament raised a further $100,000.
“I felt honoured to be invited to play alongside and assist Gary Player at the Gary Player Invitational,” said international cricket star Daniel Vettori. “The event was first class, at an absolutely stunning venue. To top it off, raising money for those less fortunate is always a treat and I’m just glad we were able to support Mr. Player and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council’s efforts in some small way.”
ZHO’s Secretary-General, Mohamed Al Hameli, commented, “We are very appreciative of the funds and support received from The Player Foundation, without which we would not be able to help improve the lives of individuals in the UAE with special needs. We want to continually improve our efforts and in keeping with Mr. Player’s enduring commitment to promote the benefits of sport, health and wellness, the funds raised will go to benefit our new sports centre and the newly titled Gary Player Gymnasium at the Baniyas Club.”
The Black Knight’s quest to raise $100 million dollars for children by 2020 is off to a fantastic start. Golf has proven it provides a tremendous outlet to help those in need.
“Golf has done more than perhaps any other sport in raising monies for worthy causes,” said Gary Player. “The PGA Tour has surpassed $2 billion in charity fundraising and our global series of events has played its part too. I am as proud of this as any other career achievement and the special recognition in the naming of this fabulous new facility is quite humbling.”
HE Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, which sponsored the inaugural UAE Invitational, added, “Gary Player is not only a great Ambassador for the game of golf, but also in promoting the benefits of a sporting society. His career achievements as a Grand Slam Champion are legendary, as are those in driving outstanding philanthropic initiatives, such as the Gary Player Invitational series. The union of golf’s great virtues and its ability to make such an impact on society are some of the many reasons we have chosen to bring this event to Abu Dhabi to complement our world-class event portfolio and as an important social development platform for years to come.”
The Gary Player Invitational in the UAE is part of the world-leading Gary Player Invitational charity golf event series. The Gary Player Invitational in Abu Dhabi is under the Patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and hosted in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The event is sponsored by: TDIC, Rolex, SAP, Callaway, Bell Helicopter, Spinneys, Sport 360, Golf Digest, Arabian Radio Network, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas.