Celebrity Participants Announced for 2004 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament
April 20, 2004
GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 17, 2004) Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, Catherine Bell, Alice Cooper, Gabrielle Reece, Lou Holtz, Cheech Marin, John O'Hurley, Ben Wright, Jennifer Mills, George Rogers and Steve Bartkowski are the celebrities that are scheduled to compete in this year's BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament. Hootie & The Blowfish and Edwin McCain will perform, but not play golf.
All of the above celebrities have committed in writing to appear in this year's tournament.
Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus is also scheduled to play along with his four sons, Jack II, Steve, Gary and Michael. Famed international golfer and fellow Grand Slam winner, Gary Player and his son Wayne will also participate in this year's tournament. Only four players in the history of the PGA TOUR have won Grand Slams: Nicklaus, Player, Gene Sarazen, and Ben Hogan.
Costner is an Oscar-winning actor/director/producer, and has starred in such hits as, The Untouchables, No Way Out, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Dances with Wolves, JFK, Thirteen Days; Open Range; and the 1996 golf movie Tin Cup. This will be Costner's third appearance in the tournament.
Kurt Russell is a newcomer to the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. He 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. His injury returned him to acting, and in 1979 he made his mark on the big screen portraying the King of Rock 'n' Roll in Elvis. Since then Russell has gone on to star in such hits as: Silkwood (where he received a Golden Globe nomination); Escape from New York; Overboard; Back Draft; Captain Ron; Tombstone; Executive Decision; 3000 Miles to Graceland; and Vanilla Sky. Last month, Russell starred in the hit movie Miracle. Russell has lived with actress Goldie Hawn since 1983.
Catherine Bell is best known as Marine Corps attorney Lt. Colonel Sarah 'Mac' Mackenzie on the hit TV series, J.A.G. Bell, who enjoys sports, was voted the 38th sexiest girl in FHM's "2002 Sexiest Girls" edition. Bell was born in London, but moved to California with her Iranian mother at the age of two. She is fluent in the Persian language of Farsi.
Cooper, the son of a minister and an avid golfer who hosts two celebrity golf events (Alice Cooper's Rock Foundation Celebrity golf tournament and the MTX Alice Cooper Celebrity AM golf tournament), virtually invented rock as theatre. He changed the face of music with his innovative, precedent-shattering, and entertaining rock theatrics. Hit songs include, "Billion Dollar Babies," "School's Out," "I'm Eighteen," and "No More Mr. Nice Guy."
Athlete/model Gabrielle Reece set season volleyball records for solo and total blocks while at Florida State. Named the nation's Most Inspiring Collegiate Athlete in 1990, Reece has also enjoyed success on the pro volleyball circuit, and she regularly writes a column for Women's Sports & Fitness. Along with professional volleyball, Reece began modeling in 1989 and has appeared on the covers of such magazines as Women's Sports & Fitness, Outside, Shape, Self, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Volleyball, and Life. Reece is currently focused on becoming a member of the LPGA Tour.
One of college football's most successful coaches and motivational speakers, Holtz is the only Coach in NCAA history to lead six different teams to post-season bowl games and is the only coach to guide four different programs to a final top-20 ranking. Holtz won a national championship as head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 1988 and has been named National coach of the year.
Best known as one half of the no-holds-barred duo of Cheech and Chong, Cheech Marin has starred in films such as Up in Smoke; From Dusk till Dawn, Desperado, The Great White Hype, and as Kevin Costner's caddie in the golf movie Tin Cup. Most recently, Marin appeared on the television drama Nash Bridges. He was also the voice of Banzai in The Lion King.
John O'Hurley, who currently hosts To Tell the Truth and Get Golf with the PGA Tour!, and has been featured in numerous television commercials, will forever be remembered for his sitcom parody of real-life catalog mogul J. Peterman on the hit TV series Seinfeld. This will be O'Hurley's fourth appearance at the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs tournament.
Designer of the Cliffs Valley course, Ben Wright has been covering the golfing world for 50 years, most notably with CBS Sports. Wright has attended the world's major golf events since 1954. He announced The Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club for more than 20 years in succession, and also broadcast the Ryder Cup matches in 1989, '91, '93, and '95. His articulate prose and ability to tell a tale are unrivaled, as are his wit and intellect.
Born and raised in Greenville, Jennifer Mills is now an anchor on The Golf Channel's Golf Central. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Mills has more than 15 years in broadcast journalism, beginning as a sports photographer at an NBC affiliate in Winston-Salem, N.C. A mother of two, Mills now lives in Orlando, Fla.
As the 1980 Heisman trophy winning running back from the University of South Carolina, George Rogers rolled up 21 consecutive 100-yard games, including every game his senior year, when he led the nation in rushing with 1,781 yards and tied for third in TDs with 14. New Orleans Saints coach Bum Phillips, who made Rogers the top NFL '81 draft choice, noted the running back's double edge - Rogers could dodge a defender or run over him. Rogers played with the Washington Redskins, Super Bowl Champions. He retired in 1988. Rogers and partner Kyle Thompson won the 2002 Pro-Celebrity portion of the BMW Charity Pro-Am.
Steve Bartkowski was an All-America in both baseball and football at the University of California, before being made the No. 1 draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in the 1975 NFL draft. Bartkowski went on to start 11 years with the Falcons. He was selected "Rookie of the Year" in 1975, led Atlanta to its first ever playoff game in 1978, was the NFC's Most Valuable Player in 1980, and earned All-Pro honors in '80 and '81.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs will be played April 29-May 2, 2004 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 professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $108,000 from the total purse of $600,000, while the amateurs/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 three tournaments have raised over $1.65 million for charity.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament or sponsorship opportunities call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament's website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com.