Twenty leading golfers, both male and female, joined one of the game’s legends, Gary Player, to compete in Monday’s 2016 Gary Player Invitational at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi hosted in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Among those taking part was England’s Andy Sullivan, fresh from his runners-up finish at the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday, who is being tipped for inclusion in Europe’s squad for their autumn Ryder Cup defense against the United States.
Also present for the event raising money for underprivileged children were cricketers Mahela Jayawardene, Jonathan Trott and Nathan Hauritz.
“I’ve heard so much about the Gary Player Invitational event series and couldn’t wait to finally play at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club,” Sullivan said. “We play a lot of tournament golf and attend many Pro-Am events but this one is really special. Off the back of starting my season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship it was great to join so many peers back in Abu Dhabi and support Mr Player.”
Player, 80, a nine-time major winner, said: “We have worked tirelessly for over 30 years now to stage special and memorable events around the world. The GPI series has grown to include new events in the UAE and
Japan this year, and with the support of trusted partners such as Abu Dhabi Sports Council we are able to deliver world-class golf experiences and in doing so create powerful fundraising platforms. This event was the first of a long and successful journey here in Abu Dhabi.”
On behalf of the female professionals, Ladies’ European Tour star Caroline Martens added: “As an LET professional, it’s great to join a golfing legend and top male professionals for this union of golf and giving. The opportunity to use golf as a catalyst for great charity causes is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of our chosen career.
“I was also lucky enough to take part in a special ladies’ golf clinic at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club yesterday, which was a thrill to help broaden the appeal of this unique event to include more ladies golfers here in Abu Dhabi.”
The inaugural Gary Player Invitational in Abu Dhabi is part of the world-leading Gary Player Invitational charity golf event series, which has raised more than $62 million (Dhs 227.72m) for charity worldwide. The event was held under the Patronage of Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Community Development, and hosted in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Article courtesy of Gulf News