A star-studded line-up representing the who’s who of the golf, sport, celebrity and business worlds is confirmed to participate in Abu Dhabi’s Gary Player Invitational, the world’s leading charity golf series. Set to take place Sunday, 13th January 2019, the event will also pay homage to the United Arab Emirate’s Year of Tolerance through a number of unique events and activations.
Taking place at the award-winning Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, a Gary Player-designed course, 2019’s union of golf and giving will see more than 72 golf pros, celebrities and business leaders join tournament host, sporting icon and Grand Slam Champion, Gary Player in raising funds for The Player Foundation which has selected local event beneficiary, the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs as its charity of choice.
Among the male golf pros confirmed is the 2018 European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjorn; Matt Wallace, the reigning champion of the Indian Open, BMW International Open and Made in Denmark; British Masters champion Eddie Pepperell; and India’s top-ranked player, winner of the Maybank Championship and Joburg Open, and the 2018 European Tour’s Rookie of The Year, Shubhankar Sharma. Representing the women will be European Tour pros Camilla Lennart, Carly Booth, Amy Boulden and Cheyenne Woods; winner of the inaugural Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open (FBM Ladies Open), Beth Allen, as well as the yet-to-be-confirmed winner of FBM Ladies Open which, in 2019 will directly precede the Gary Player Invitational at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, January 10-12. Added star-attraction will come in the form of a number of celebrities including professional athletes and entertainers.
The pros and celebrities will be joined by amateurs from the UAE business community as well as representatives from sponsors that include presenting sponsor Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and other sponsors such as Aldar, Abu Dhabi Ports, Al Masaood, Rolex, SAP and the Jumeirah Saadiyat Island Resort.
Held in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, under the Patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Tolerance, the 2019 Gary Player Invitational at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is the only Middle Eastern stop in the global series, and the first event of the year. The series has helped The Player Foundation raise more than $64 million for charities worldwide, and the Gary Player Invitational plays a key role in helping The Player Foundation work towards its goal of raising $100 million by 2025.
Given the charitable focus of The Gary Player Invitational, Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the 2019 event will be particularly poignant thanks the event’s patron, the Minister of State for Tolerance and 2019 being named the UAE Year of Tolerance. In keeping in the spirit of the year, 2019’s union of golf and giving will include a number of special events including a UAE Tolerance Gala, hosted at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and an Inclusivity Roundtable, where the topic of inclusivity in sport will be addressed by Mr Player as well as some of the world’s top sporting talent. The event will also precede the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games which is set to take place March 14-21 throughout Abu Dhabi.
“Along with being a world-class golf and sporting destination, Abu Dhabi is also a warm and welcoming destination and we are overjoyed to once again host the Gary Player Invitational in support of the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in January,” said Grand Slam champion and tournament host Gary Player.
“2019 will not only a landmark year for sport in Abu Dhabi, but also a momentous year for the wider community,” said His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council. “The Gary Player Invitational embodies the very best of sport, and the very best of sportsmanship. The event’s ongoing support of the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs aligns perfectly with the goals of the UAE Year of Tolerance as well as Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.”
“The 2019 event takes special meaning given that it will be the Year of Tolerance and we commend the leadership of the United Arab Emirates for their progressive vision and support and advancement of people of all abilities,” added Marc Player CEO of Black Knight International and Founder of the Gary Player Invitational series.
Members of the public are welcome to visit Saadiyat Beach Golf Club on tournament day, January 13th, 2019 to see Gary Player, the professionals and stars in action.