Ten more celebrity commitments announced for BMW Charity Pro-Am

Published 4:18 pm Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ten more celebrity commitments for the 10th annual BMW Charity Pro-Am were released recently. The latest commitments for the golf tournament include Lost actor Terry OQuinn, Michael Pena, Kevin Sorbo, Cheech Marin and actress Paula Trickey; musicians Joe Don Rooney and Branford Marsalis; broadcast journalist and Greenville native Jennifer Mills; former NFL wide receiver and current NFL analyst Sterling Sharpe; and Apprentice winner Stefanie Schaeffer.

This announcement brings the total celebrity commitments for the 2010 tournament to 20. The first group of celebrity commitments announced in December included actors Kurt Russell, Oliver Hudson, Patrick Warburton and Gary Valentine; Clemson University Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney; CNN news and weather anchor Rob Marciano; musicians Pat Green, Javier Colon and Steve Azar; and former NFL star Kordell Stewart.

Each year we extend invitations to 30 celebrities, but typically we dont release the names until April, explained Tournament Director Darin MacDonald. The response from our invitations was very quick this year. We thought the fans would appreciate knowing some of the names early so we released 10 names in December, 10 more today and we hope to release the final group in early April.

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Terry OQuinn is a versatile character actor who has worked consistently for three decades and gained notoriety when he landed on Lost in 2004 as mysterious castaway John Locke, a role for which he won an Emmy Award in 2007 and had previously been nominated in 2005. OQuinn also played the title role in The Stepfather and Stepfather II, and in 1996 was cast as Peter Watts in Millennium, which ran for three seasons. This will be his third time participating in the tournament.

Michael Pena made his Hollywood breakthrough in 2004 when he performed in the critically acclaimed movies Million Dollar Baby and Crash. He has also appeared on the Golden Globe winning series, The Shield. Pena starred alongside Nicolas Cage in Oliver Stones film World Trade Center and played FBI agent Nick Memphis in Shooter with Mark Wahlberg. This is Penas third time competing in the tournament.

Kevin Sorbo quickly rose to international stardom in the title role of the hit series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In 1997, Sorbo made his feature film debut starring in Universal Studios Kull the Conqueror, a prequel to Conan the Barbarian. Sorbo has also appeared on several hit television shows such as Hope and Faith, According to Jim, Dharma & Greg, Just Shoot Me, Cybill, The Commish, and Murder, She Wrote. In 2008, Sorbo appeared in the spoof film Meet the Spartans, which opened at No. 1 at the U.S. box office charts. This is Sorbos fifth appearance in the BMW Charity Pro-Am.

Best known as one half of the no-holds-barred duo of Cheech and Chong, Cheech Marin has starred in films such as Up in Smoke, From Dusk till Dawn, Desperado, The Great White Hype, and as a caddie in the golf movie Tin Cup. Marin also appeared on the television drama Nash Bridges. This is Marins seventh appearance.

Paula Trickey earned the title of Miss Oklahoma in the 1985 Teen All-American Pageant. After arriving in L.A., Trickey landed a five season run on Pacific Blue and has also had recurring roles on shows such as The O.C., Beverly Hills, 90210 and Walker, Texas Ranger. Her feature film work includes A Kiss Goodnight, The Base and Mr. Saturday Night. This is Trickeys second time participating in the tournament.

Joe Don Rooney is the lead guitarist and harmony singer in the multi-platinum-selling country-pop group Rascal Flatts. Rooney has released six studio albums and a greatest hits album with Rascal Flatts. Their latest studio album, Unstoppable, was released in April 2009 and is certified platinum. This is Rooneys second time competing in the tournament.

World-renowned saxophonist and three-time Grammy winner Branford Marsalis has always been a man of numerous musical interests. The three-time Grammy winner is primarily known for his work in jazz as the leader of the Branford Marsalis Quartet, he also performs frequently as a soloist with classical ensembles and has led the group Buckshot LeFonque. This will be his third appearance at the tournament.

Longtime television journalist Jennifer Mills is one of three celebrities to compete in every tournament since it began in 2001. Respected throughout golf circles, Mills helped launch the Golf Channel where she spent 11 years as anchor of the award winning show, GolfCentral. In 2007, Mills graduated to the networks as a member of the NBC Sports golf team. She is also currently Co-Host of Masters TV for Augusta National each April. A native of the Carolinas and mother of two, Mills got her start in television at WYFF in Greenville where she was a news reporter and later host of P.M. Magazine.

Sterling Sharpe set school records at University of South Carolina with 169 career receptions, 2,497 receiving yards and a since-broken record of 17 career touchdowns. He also set the school record for single-season receiving touchdowns with 11. Sharpe was the first round (No. 7 overall) draft pick by the Green Bay Packers in 1988 and had an immediate impact on the team, staying with the Packers until 1994 when he suffered a neck injury, ending a career in which he was named an All-Pro five times. Sharpe is currently an NFL analyst. This will be Sharpes fourth time playing in the tournament.

Stefanie Schaeffers creativity, business savvy and leadership skills made her a natural to win NBCs 2007 The Apprentice and secure the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Trump International Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas. This will be Schaeffers third time participating in the tournament.

The 2010 BMW Charity Pro-Am will be played May 13 through 16, at Brights Creek Golf Club, The Carolina Country Club and Thornblade Club golf courses. All four rounds will be televised live by the Golf Channel.

The BMW Charity Pro-Am is the only tournament on the PGA TOURs Nationwide Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide Tour professionals in a four-day better-ball competition over three courses. Amateurs, celebrities and pros rotate between three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the 14 lowest scoring pro-amateur/pro-celebrity teams advancing to play Sundays final round at Thornblade Club.

Celebrities play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $108,000 from the total purse of $600,000. Amateurs and celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.

The first nine tournaments have raised more than $7.3 million for 125+ area charities. The charities selected to benefit from the 2010 tournament are listed online at bmwcharitygolf.com

For more information about the 10th annual BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation, sponsorship opportunities, amateur playing spots or volunteer opportunities, call (864) 297-1660. You can also learn more about the tournament online at www.bmwcharitygolf.com or by following the tournament on Facebook.