March 18, 2003
Professional golfers Ian Baker-Finch, Pat Boyd, Brian Hull, Stiles Mitchell, Bryce Molder and Stan Utley have been awarded exemptions to participate in this year's BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament. The tournament will be played May 1-4, 2003, at Cliffs Valley and The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards.
Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus was also granted an exemption to play in the tournament, as were his sons Jack II, Gary and Michael, all who are PGA TOUR professionals. Son Steve will play in the tournament as an amateur.
Baker-Finch, winner of the 1991 British Open, has been covering golf as a commentator for ABC Sports since 1997. He recorded two wins on the PGA TOUR and eight international victories during his professional career.
Boyd is a teaching pro at Mountaingate Country Club in Los Angeles where he teaches actor Samuel L. Jackson and other celebrities. He competed on the Nationwide Tour (then the NIKE Tour) in 1996.
Hull, who is sponsored by Kevin Costner on the Nationwide Tour, is from Manhattan Beach, Calif. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 1997 and turned pro the same year.
Nicknamed "Big Daddy," Mitchell is known for his long driving ability. He ranked second last year in driving distance (312.9 yards). Mitchell, 38, has been a member of the Nationwide Tour since 1998, where he has one career win (Permian Basin Open; 1998) and four, top-10 finishes.
Molder was a featured golfer on the PGA TOUR last year where he competed in 22 events, earning one top-10 finish and four, top-25 finishes. The Georgia Tech graduate turned pro in 2001 and scored his best PGA TOUR finish that year with a third-place showing at the Reno-Tahoe Open. Of the four Nationwide Tour events he participated in last year, Molder scored two, top-10 finishes and a second-place finish at the Jacob's Creek Open Championship. Molder was a first team All-American at Georgia Tech joining former alums David Duval, Phil Mickelson and Gary Hallberg as the only four to be so honored. He was named the Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year in 1998 and 2001, was a three-time ACC Player of the Year (1998-2001) and was ACC Rookie of the Year in 1998. Molder and his amateur partner Dan O'Connell won the Pro-Am portion of last year's BMW Charity Pro-Am.
Utley, who splits time between the PGA TOUR and the Nationwide Tour, tied for third place in last year's BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament. He has one PGA TOUR victory and three Nationwide Tour wins to his credit. A two-time All-American at Missouri, Utley hosts an annual "Go for the Gold" skins game that benefits a safe house for children. He also has his own golf consulting business and is a respected short-game teacher to many PGA TOUR players.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament will be played May 1-4, 2003 at Cliffs Valley and The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards courses, where amateurs and celebrities will be grouped with Nationwide PGA Tour professionals. All four rounds will be televised live by The Golf Channel.
The tournament is the premier event on the Nationwide PGA Tour and is the only event that features professionals paired with an amateur/celebrity partner in a two-day best-ball competition. The 14 lowest scoring teams (10 Pro-Celeb and four Pro-Am) advance to play for the BMW Charity Cup on Saturday. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $99,000 from the total purse of $550,000, while the amateurs/celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the 48 beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.
The first two tournaments have raised over $1 million for charity.
General Admission tickets for the 2003 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs can be purchased for $20 by calling (864) 297-1660 or through one of the 48 selected charities. Corporate sponsorships and ticket packages that include VIP and Clubhouse tickets can also be purchased by calling (864) 297-1660. Proceeds benefit local charities.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament or sponsorship opportunities call (864) 297-1660.