Big field of celebrities set for '08 BMW Charity Pro-Am

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April 02, 2008
PGA TOUR staff

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Samuel L. Jackson, Dennis Quaid, Luke Wilson, Greg Kinnear, Kurt Russell, Catherine Bell, David James Elliott, Wayne Gretzky, Janet Jones Gretzky, Dave Coulier, Stefanie Schaeffer, Patrick Warburton, Oliver Hudson, Michael Pena, Jason Dohring, Kevin Sorbo, Josh Kelley, Cheech Marin, Javier Colon, Lucas Black, Steve Azar, Gary Valentine, Mark Rypien, Branford Marsalis, Pat Green, George Rogers, Ben Wright and Jennifer Mills are the celebrities that are scheduled to compete in this year's BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament.

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The tournament will be played May 15-18 at Bright's Creek Golf Club, The Carolina Country Club and Thornblade Club golf courses. All four rounds will be televised live by GOLF CHANNEL.

The BMW Charity Pro-Am is the only tournament on the Nationwide Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide Tour professionals in a three-day better-ball competition. Amateurs, celebrities and pros will rotate between each of the 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.

The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $121,500 from the total purse of $675,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour, as well as a brand new BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle. 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.

Jackson, one of the most respected actors in Hollywood, is playing in the BMW Charity Pro-Am for the first time. He most recently starred alongside Hayden Christenson and Rachel Bilson in Jumper. Jackson has also starred in numerous films, including hits like 1408, Episodes I, II and II of Star Wars, Snakes on a Plane, Coach Carter, S.W.A.T., The Negotiator, XXX, XXX: State of the Union, Shaft, Rules of Engagement, Deep Blue Sea, Sphere, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Pulp Fiction (where he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations as Best Supporting Actor), Jurassic Park and Patriot Games. He currently has five other works slated for release in the next two years.

Quaid, who is also making his first appearance at the BMW Charity Pro-Am, began his acting career in 1975 with the film, Crazy Mama. Among his other films are The Right Stuff, Great Balls of Fire, Enemy Mine, The Rookie, Far From Heaven (where he received a Golden Globe nomination), In Good Company, Dragonheart, The Parent Trap, Wyatt Earp, Frequency, Any Given Sunday and The Day After Tomorrow. In his most recent film, Vantage Point, Quaid stars alongside Matthew Fox, Forrest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver and William Hurt. Quaid will play "Hawk" in the Paramount Pictures production, G.I. Joe, which is slated for release in 2009.

Wilson began his acting career starring in a film (Bottle Rocket, 1994) co-written by his brother, Owen. Wilson has also appeared in Telling Lies in America, Best Men and Home Fries, Legally Blonde, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Alex and Emma, The Family Stone, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Vacancy and Blonde Ambition. Wilson's latest film is Henry Poole is Here, which will be released later in 2008. This is Wilson's first time playing in the tournament.

Kinnear is an Academy Award-nominated actor who received his breakthrough when he became the first host of "Talk Soup" in the early 1990s, which led to "Later with Greg Kinnear" four years later. In 1997, Kinnear starred in the blockbuster comedy drama As Good as It Gets, for which he received an Oscar nomination for "Best Supporting Actor". In 2006, he starred in Little Miss Sunshine and co-starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in the film version of Invincible, based on the true story of a man who tries out for the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team. This is Kinnear's first time playing in the BMW Charity Pro-Am.

Russell, who is playing in the BMW Charity Pro-Am for the third time, began his acting career as a child with the Walt Disney Co., but once he outgrew child roles, he quit acting to pursue his love of baseball. He played second base with the minor league baseball teams of the California Angels and San Diego Padres until he hurt his arm. Russell has appeared in Silkwood (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination), Escape from New York, Overboard, Back Draft, Captain Ron, Tombstone, Executive Decision, 3,000 Miles to Graceland, Vanilla Sky, and Miracle. Russell has lived with actress Goldie Hawn since 1983.

Bell is best known as Marine Corps attorney Lt. Colonel Sarah 'Mac' Mackenzie on the TV series J.A.G. Bell currently plays Denise Sherwood in the Lifetime drama Army Wives, and she has also had supporting roles in the hit movies Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty as television news anchor Susan Ortega. This will be her fifth appearance.

Elliott, who is best known for his role as Commander Harmon "Harm" Rabb on the hit TV show J.A.G. will participate in his second BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament. Elliott played Assistant District Attorney James Conlon on the television series Close to Home in 2007.

Gretzky, arguably the greatest ice hockey player of all time, and his wife Janet, an actress, will return for their fourth appearance in the BMW Charity Pro-Am. The Hall of Fame center rewrote the NHL record book by setting 61 records, including being the NHL's all-time leading goal scorer with 894. He is currently coach and part-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes NHL hockey team.

The first seven BMW Charity Pro-Ams have raised more than $5.7 million for 80+ area charities.

For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament, sponsorship opportunities, charitable funding or volunteer opportunities, call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament's Web site.

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