Gretzky, Colon among celebrities at BMW Charity Pro-Am

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Officials from the BMW Charity Pro-Am recently announced new celebrity commitments for the 2011 tournament, scheduled for May 19-22 at Polk County’s Bright’s Creek Golf Club, Thornblade Club and the Carolina Country Club.
Legendary NHL player Wayne Gretzky and his wife, Janet, will join the line-up, as will musician and “The Voice” contestant Javier Colon and country music artist Colt Ford. Jerry Rice has had to withdraw from the 2011 tournament due to schedule conflicts.
The Gretzkys, Colon and Ford bring the total celebrity count to 25. They join 21 other celebrities, including Lucas Black, Brad Brownell, Mark Bryan, Andy Buckley, Jeffrey Donovan, Don Felder, Bruce Greenwood, Oliver Hudson, Josh Kelley, Greg Kinnear, Cheech Marin, Rob Morrow, Terry O’Quinn, Michael Pena, Joe Pesci, Joe Don Rooney, Kevin Sorbo, Danny Sullivan, Gary Valentine, Patrick Warburton and Luke Wilson.
Concert at Peace Center
In addition to the celebrity updates, tournament officials also announced the celebrities scheduled to perform at The Spinx Concert Series Celebrity Concert on Friday, May 20 at the Peace Center Amphitheatre. Javier Colon and Colt Ford will perform during the concert, as will legendary guitarist Don Felder, Rascal Flatts guitarist Joe Don Rooney, Mark Bryan of Hootie & the Blowfish, musician Josh Kelley, Cheech Marin of the infamous duo Cheech and Chong and actor/musician Bruce Greenwood.
For tickets, call 864-233-5421. Press “0” when you hear the automated recording.
Wayne, Janet Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky, nicknamed “The Great One,” is regarded as the best player in the history of the National Hockey League. He holds or shares 61 NHL records – 40 for the regular season, 15 for the Stanley Cup playoffs and six for the NHL All-Star Game – including the most points ever scored at 2,856 and most goals (894).
After his retirement in 1999, Gretsky was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. This will be the fifth time he has participated in the tournament. Gretzky and his professional partner, Chris Nallen, won the 2008 Pro-Am/Pro-Celeb portion of the tournament at -46 under par.
Janet Jones-Gretzky appeared as a dancer in the films “Annie,” “Staying Alive” and more in the early ‘80s. She also appeared in “Police Academy 5” and “A League of Their Own.” This will be the fifth time she has participated in the tournament. Jones-Gretzky and her professional partner, Darren Angel, won the 2007 Pro-Am/Pro-Celeb portion of the tournament at -44 under par.
Javier Colon
Musician Javier Colon graduated from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music in 2000 and has since taken on various musical endeavors. Colon served as a vocalist and percussionist in EmcQ and was also the lead vocalist for The Derek Trucks Band for a year and a half.
In 2002, Colon decided to pursue a solo career and has since stayed on that path, releasing solo albums in 2003 and 2006. Colon is currently a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” where he’s competing against other musicians for a recording contract and $100,000. This will be Colon’s sixth appearance at the tournament. He and his professional partner, Michael Sim, won the Pro-Am/Pro-Celeb portion of the 2009 tournament at -47 under par.
Colt Ford
Colt Ford is a country music artist and former professional golfer. After serving as a golf instructor he turned his interests to music, taking influence from country music and hip hop. He has released two albums via his own Average Joe’s label and has charted three singles on the Hot Country Songs charts. Ford has also written a theme song for “Professional Bull Riders.” This will be Ford’s first appearance in the tournament.
About the tournament
The 2011 BMW Charity Pro-Am is presented by SYNNEX Corporation.It is the only tournament on the PGA TOUR’s 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 Sunday’s 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 10 BMW Chartiy Pro-Am tournaments raised nearly $8 million for 150-plus charities.
For more information about the tournament, visit or follow the tournament on Facebook. You can also view the 2011 sponsorship and playing opportunities at
– article submitted by Brett Turner, BMW Charity Pro-Am

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