Celebrity Pro-Am begins tomorrow

Published 3:35 pm Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dont be surprised if you see a few entertainment stars and pro athletes in Polk County over the next few days.
The 2010 BMW Charity Pro-Am will be back at Brights Creek for three rounds, beginning tomorrow and continuing through Saturday.
Celebrities and the professional players in the Nationwide Tour event will rotate between Brights Creek and the other two host courses, The Carolina Country Club and Thornblade Club. The final round on Sunday will be at Thornblade. All four rounds will be televised live by the Golf Channel.
On Thursday, visitors at the Pro-Am at Brights Creek will have a chance to see golf commentator and course designer Ben Wright, actor Gary Valentine (The King of Queens), actress Paula Trickey (The O.C.), former NFL quarterback Kordell Stewart, former NFL wide receiver Sterling Sharpe, Apprentice winner Stefanie Schaeffer, CNN news anchor Rob Marciano and actor Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds).
The first groups, starting at the 1st and 10th holes, will tee off at 8:15 a.m., and two more groups will begin the first round every 10 minutes through 10:25 a.m.
Tee times will follow the same schedule on Friday and Saturday. The list of celebrities coming to Brights Creek Friday and Saturday includes Kurt Russell, Branford Marsalis, Terry OQuinn, Dabo Swinney, Jerry Rice, and Joe Don Rooney.
Only the 14 lowest scoring pro-amateur/pro-celebrity teams advance to play Sundays final round.
South Carolina Charities, Inc., the host organization of the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament, selected a record 98 South Carolina and North Carolina charities to benefit from the 2010 golf tournament.
The list includes local nonprofits FENCE and Friends of Harmon Field. The Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad is also a beneficiary again this year.
Each of the charities will receive 100 percent of the proceeds for selling General Admission tickets to the tournament. Each of the charities are also encouraged to field golf teams for the Monday, May 10 Charity Challenge Pro-Am golf tournament to be held at Thornblade Club. The top three winning Pro-Am teams will earn a portion of the $22,500 purse for their charity.
Each charity is also encouraged to recruit as many volunteers as possible. Participating organizations will retain the uniform package fee from each of their charity-specific volunteers who sign up and work a minimum of two shifts during the tournament.
“We are pleased to attract new charities each year and help so many worthy causes,” said Bobby Hitt, president of South Carolina Charities, Inc. “Our 10th anniversary is already shaping up to be one of our best with the addition of SYNNEX Corporation as a presenting sponsor and a record number of charities.”
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 2009 BMW Charity Pro-Am was named the Nationwide Tour Charity of the Year for its far-reaching impact on charities in the Upstate region of South Carolina and Western North Carolina. Tournament organizers received a check for $30,000 from the PGA Tour to enhance the tournaments charitable endeavors.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am announced it had raised $651,829 for 78 organizations as a result of 2009 tournament. Since BMW Manufacturing Co. came on board in 2001, the event has raised more than $7.3 million for 125+ area charities. The BWM Charity Pro-Am has consistently been one of the Nationwide Tours top tournaments and most prominent fundraisers for charity.
For more information about the 10th annual BMW Charity Pro-Am call (864) 297-1660. You can also learn more about the tournament online at www.bmwcharitygolf.com or by following the tournament on Facebook.

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